Promoting adoption of fall prevention measures among Latino workers and residential contractors: formative research findings

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Aug;58(8):870-9. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22480. Epub 2015 May 26.


Background: Falls from heights remain a concern in construction, particularly for foreign-born Latino construction workers employed by small residential contractors. The social ecological model provides a framework to assess the individual and contextual factors influencing the risk for falls.

Methods: Five focus groups and thirteen in-depth interviews with workers, small residential contractors, and key informants were conducted in 2012 in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Data were analyzed with qualitative methods.

Results: Economic conditions in residential construction, coupled with a lack of enforcement and vulnerabilities of the foreign-born workforce, are principal contributors to risk for falls. Small contractors perceive strong economic disincentives for implementation of fall protection and foreign-born Latino workers experience a variety of social, cultural and occupational pressures impeding its use.

Conclusions: Increased adoption of fall protection cannot be accomplished solely by targeting Latino construction workers. Research is needed on incentives to influence contractor behavior and facilitate adoption of fall protection measures.

Keywords: Latino immigrant workers; construction; falls in construction; small residential; social ecological model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Construction Industry / economics
  • Construction Industry / organization & administration*
  • Culture
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Plan Implementation / economics
  • Health Plan Implementation / organization & administration*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Philadelphia
  • Qualitative Research
  • Safety Management / economics
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • San Francisco