Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.
Characterizing the low wage immigrant workforce: A comparative analysis of the health disparities among selected occupations in Somerville, Massachusetts
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Special Issue: Achieving Health Equity in the Workplace
Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 516–526, May 2014
How to Cite
Panikkar, B., Woodin, M. A., Brugge, D., Hyatt, R., Gute, D. M. and Community Partners of the Somerville Community Immigrant Worker Project (2014), Characterizing the low wage immigrant workforce: A comparative analysis of the health disparities among selected occupations in Somerville, Massachusetts. Am. J. Ind. Med., 57: 516–526. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22181
The Community Partners contributed immeasurably to the conceptualization and delivery of activities accomplished during the five year project period of our collective work: Dr. Rose Goldman, M.D. Cambridge Health Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org. Alex Pirie, Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health, apirie@SomervilleCDC.org. Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, email@example.com. Heloisa Galvão, Brazilian Women's Group, firstname.lastname@example.org. Monica Chianelli, Vida Verde Co-Operative, email@example.com. Ismael Vasquez, Community Action Agency of Somerville, firstname.lastname@example.org. Melissa McWhinney, Community Action Agency of Somerville, email@example.com. and Franklin Dalembert, Haitian Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 FEB 2013
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Grant Number: R25 OH008776-04
- immigrant health;
- occupational health;
- construction workers;
- factory workers;
- community based participatory research
This study estimates job-related risks among common low wage occupations (cleaning, construction, food service, cashier/baggers, and factory workers) held by predominantly Haitian, El Salvadorian, and Brazilian immigrants living or working in Somerville, Massachusetts.
A community-based cross-sectional survey on immigrant occupational health was conducted between 2006 and 2009 and logistic regression was used to assess the job-related risks among the most common low wage occupations.
Construction workers reported significantly higher health risks, and lower access to occupational health services than the other occupations. Compared to cashier/baggers, the reference population in this study, cleaners reported significantly lower access to health and safety and work training and no knowledge of workers' compensation. Factory workers reported significantly lower work training compared to cashier/baggers. Food service workers reported the least access to doctors compared to the other occupations.
We found significant variability in risks among different low wage immigrant occupations. The type of occupation independently contributed to varying levels of risks among these jobs. We believe our findings to be conservative and recommend additional inquiry aimed at assuring the representativeness of our findings. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:516–526, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.