Civil Engineering Professors Receive Grant to Train Hispanic Construction Workers for Fifth Consecutive Year
LUCERO FIERRO | November 12, 2018
A pair of UTEP civil engineering professors have received funding as part of an effort to reduce the number of injuries construction workers suffer in the workplace.
Adeeba Raheem, Ph.D., assistant professor and Austin Marshall, J.D., professor of civil engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso were awarded a 12-month grant worth $150,000 to provide targeted topic training for silica hazard prevention to non-English speaking construction workers.
The program, sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Susan Hardwood Training grant, marks the fifth consecutive year Raheem has been awarded the necessary funds. More than 5,000 construction workers from local companies have been trained since 2014.
Focusing on Hispanic construction workers, Raheem, and Marshall will target small, family-owned businesses in El Paso and its surrounding areas that lack the resources to train their employees.
A group of graduate and undergraduate students will also participate in the project. Students have to attend a set of training sessions before participating in the project as instructors.
“We are extremely excited to be the recipients of this grant for the fifth year in a row,” Raheem said, “We are looking forward to this year’s interaction with various stakeholders of the construction industry in El Paso to spread the message of ‘Safety First.’”
Raheem initiated these training projects in 2014 upon her arrival to El Paso as a response to the financial limitations Hispanic workers have in this region.
The OSHA grants are awarded to provide training sessions and education programs for the recognition, avoidance and prevention of health hazards in the workplace. Workers are also informed of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act while attending these sessions.
“We highly appreciate OSHA proving funding for this training that helps workers get home to their families each day,” Marshall said.