Issue statement: Immigrant construction workers who are foreign-born are typically face harsh working conditions such as sunburnt, hearing impairment, injuries caused by equipment, dust exposure, overloaded stress and so on.
California’s construction industry treats immigrants inequitably. Immigrant construction workers across California are experiencing fewer social protections resulting in high rates of fatal accidents and less favorable working conditions when compared to non-immigrant construction workers. Construction workers who are foreign-born account for nearly 2.4 million of the industry’s workforce. Immigrant workers in construction are typically younger, less educated, and work in high-risk occupations.
Immigrant construction workers face harsh working conditions on a daily basis. As a result of working in the sun for most of the day and heat, they get sunburnt; the loud noise from construction causes hearing impairment; and injuries caused by equipment without protection are very common. Immigrant workers in construction also suffer from lower back pain and muscle strain.
High percentage: Of all the states, California has the highest number of immigrants in the United States. According to US immigration council, more than 25% of California residents are immigrants. When it comes to industry, the construction industry accounts for 45% of all workers in the industry, while construction immigrant workers also account for 43% of all workers in that occupation. Construction industry is the most popular job for immigrant workers. The group cover huge population.
Occupations such as construction work have high rates of workplace injury and exposure to unhealthy heat, dust, or other chemicals. Immigrants are 15% to 25% more likely to be fatally injured at work compared to US-born workers.
Possible Option 1
The main factor accounting for harsh working conditions among immigrant construction workers in the US is ineffective communication. Over 40% of immigrant workers have reported that there are huge language skill gaps. As a result, these workers become vulnerable to dangerous hazards because they cannot report their complaints.
The Safety Excellence Certificates Program will focus on training foremen on construction safety and deliver the training in different languages. It is a mandatory program for foremen to participate in and get the certificate. In this case, supervisors who are non-native speakers will overcome miscommunication during the safety training process. The Safety Excellence Certificates Program should include provide training materials such as brochures in different languages, and hire instructors who can speak different languages. And supervisors can bring material back to sites and deliver safety skills to their employees to make sure foreign construction workers can understand it clearly.
Possible Option 2
The second option will entail investing in personal protective equipment (PPEs) that meet personal protective equipment regulations to protect immigrant workers working in the construction sector. Presently, these workers only have access to hard hats and safety glasses that do not protect them completely from physical harm and other hazards. I will recommend investing in upgraded PPEs that protect workers’ bodies from physical injuries and sunburns. More specifically, it will include earbuds preventing from construction site noises, sun care products for sunburnt, facial masks for dust exposure, and cooling equipment.
Possible Option 3
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that revealed that foreign-born male construction workers report a higher suicide rate than other sectors. The study further indicated that these suicide cases emanate from depression caused by work-related stressors. Besides, other activities, such as workplace injuries, contribute to mental health among construction workers.
Against this background, I will recommend providing mental health services such as counseling to these workers. In most cases, counseling services remain highly expensive for immigrant workers. Against this background, I will foster collaboration with local health clinics and non-governmental (NGO)(please search a specific clinics in LA and describe it for the final policy analysis paper, thx) to offer affordable or free mental health services to immigrant workers in construction industry.
Criterion 1: Implementation Feasibility
Implementation feasibility can be measured in the number of influenced participants
Option 1 will only involve the supervisors while ignoring workers. As the supervisors learn safety measures in different languages, they may not share the knowledge with workers. Thus, this option remains unsuitable for ignoring workers.
Additionally, the second option Unlike the first option, this option will involve the supervisors and employees. In other words, both parties will benefit because supervisors will participate in providing and enforcing the wearing of PPEs at the workplace. Similarly, construction workers will participate in the option by wearing PPEs to minimize the effects of poor working conditions.
The third option may not generate desirable outcomes because some employees may choose to join the service. And hard to track due to the confidential agreement of mental counseling services.
Criterion 2: Resources Required
The first option will require the establishment of centers for training and need to redesign and reprint materials in different languages and hire instructors in different languages for employees to understand. The second option will involve upgrading and purchasing new PPEs to protect workers from adverse workplace effects. Therefore, it needs support and collaboration from PPEs suppliers. Lastly, the third option will require the support of local health centers and NGOs to offer counseling services.
Criterion 3: Cost Effective Analysis
The first option will require the least amount of money, estimated at $7.8 million. Firstly, spend $4.5 million on establishing centers for teaching foreign languages. Next, the companies will use an additional $4.8 million to equip the established facilities, including hiring tutors and purchasing learning materials.
The second option of upgrading PPEs t will cost approximately $9.91 million. The higher cost is due to the advanced technology and huge volume of orders.
Moreover, the last option will cost the company $8.6 million. The money will mainly go to funding mental health professionals, especially counselors, to address the needs of construction workers.
Solution 2 has the highest total cost the break-even point, while the solution 1 has the lowest. Based on the cost-effective analysis, Solution 1 is the most cost effective one, but other criterion had to be considered.
Criterion 4: Disruption Caused by Change
As noted earlier, the first option will disrupt the construction industry because it requires the supervisors to attend centers for training. This situation implies that these foremen will spend extra time learning safety measures in the centers. During the supervisors’ absence from the construction site, employees may record lower productivity because most people cannot work without supervision.
The second option involves supervisors and employees. The involvement of the two parties shows that the sector will not experience any disruption. The upgraded PPEs will likely motivate employees resulting in improved productivity.
The last option will interrupt the local health sector by increasing number of patients or waiting time. Because employees must visit local health facilities to seek counseling services, therefore increase the workload of clinics and waiting time for other patients.
CAM Analysis Table
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