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J Community Health. 2011 Apr;36(2):175-9. doi: 10.1007/s10900-010-9295-9.

Mexican urban occupational health in the US: a population at risk.

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Center for Immigrant Health, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Mexicans are the largest immigrant group in the US. Little is known about their urban occupational health status. We assess occupational illness, injury, and safety training among New York City Mexican immigrants. This study is a consecutive sample of the Mexican immigrant population utilizing Mexican Consulate services in New York City over two weeks in March 2009. Bilingual research assistants approached persons waiting in line at the Consulate and administered an occupational health questionnaire. 185 people agreed to participate. Most work in restaurants (37%), cleaning (18%), construction (12%), babysitting/nanny (7%), retail (9%), and factories (5%). 22% had received safety training. 18% reported work-related pain or illness. 18% suffered from a job-related injury since immigrating. Most injuries were in construction, factories, and restaurants. 29% had not reported their injury. This study provides evidence that the urban Mexican immigrant population is at high risk for work-related illness and injury, is not receiving adequate safety training, and is under-reporting occupational injury. Culturally and linguistically responsive community outreach programs are needed to provide occupational health and safety information and resources for urban Mexican workers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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