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April 14, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 214-418-9337
E-mail: Todd.Elizabeth@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA, Mexican consulate form alliance in Houston
Agreement, signed at National Latino action summit, aims to promote safety and health for Mexican and other Spanish-speaking workers in construction industry

HOUSTON -- Enhanced workplace safety for construction workers in the states of Texas and Louisiana is the goal of an alliance signed today at the National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston to promote safety and health rights in the workplace for Mexican and other Spanish-speaking workers.

"Our main goal in working with the Mexican consulate is to save lives, and we can do that by educating workers on hazardous working conditions in the workplace and empowering them to come forward and file complaints," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's Houston South area director. "A worker injury has rippling effects for him or her, that person's family and ultimately their community. We are hopeful this cooperative effort will help prevent needless injuries and fatalities." Under this agreement, the partners will work together to develop educational and outreach training programs relating to the "focus four hazards" in the construction industry (falls, electrical, struck-by and caught-between), employee rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and the complaint process.

"Labor rights of Mexican workers and their ability to exercise them fully and effectively will be enhanced by the mechanisms set in place by this alliance," said Carlos Gonzlez Magalln, consul general of Mexico in Houston. "We share a strong commitment to protect the lives and safety of all Mexican workers, especially those who are most vulnerable and are often subject to abuse as a result of their immi