Lead Paint Removal >> Small Contractors And Lead Paint

Small contractors are an especially difficult audience to reach with a safety message, and yet there are thousands of them across the United States who, on a daily basis, direct thousands of employees in their work. Most construction companies are small, and the way in which health and safety practices are conducted in small companies may be Small Contractors And Lead Paint substantially different than in larger ones (Eakin & MacEachen, 1998). 

The characteristics and barriers in this industry that make it difficult to implement successful prevention and Small Contractors And Lead Paint training programs that reach, educate, and motivate small contractors has been described (Ringen & Stafford, 1996; Wolford, 1996). 

Akbar-Khanzadeh and Brossia (2000) found that the percentage of insured small businesses requesting government-provided health and safety services, and the number of hours spent providing such services, Small Contractors And Lead Paint is lower when compared to requests from larger businesses. 

At the same time, the training of supervisors has been identified as being just as important as training workers because supervisors provide one of the most significant enabling or reinforcing factors on the job site (Ringen & Stafford, 1996). Therefore, Small Contractors And Lead Paint for all these reasons we anticipated that recruiting small contractors to a government-sponsored educational program would require a significant effort. 

INTERVENTION Outreach Strategies OLPPP obtained support and endorsements from stakeholder organizations for the educational project. Some of these organizations participated in a program planning process where they contributed to the development of the curriculum and Small Contractors And Lead Paint outreach strategies. 

We worked most closely with, and had as a cosponsor of many of these events, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, the state workers' compensation insurance carrier. Others who contributed to the outreach efforts and Small Contractors And Lead Paint sometimes were part of the training program included local organizations of small painting and general contractors, including the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.

County Builders' Exchanges, the Southern California Builders Association, and the National Association of Remodeling Industries; the International Union of Painters and Small Contractors And Lead Paint Allied Trades; Cal/ OSHA Consultation Service; and local health department childhood lead programs. Our program's outreach strategy was to use a number of approaches simultaneously and to work with stakeholders to learn how they best reached their own constituents. 

Ironically, we discovered that contractor organizations themselves faced many of the same challenges in reaching contractors and that there was no one correct approach. At the same time, Small Contractors And Lead Paint their endorsement of our training seminars lent a legitimacy to the program that only could help in recruiting contractors to attend. 

Outreach and publicity methods used to recruit contractors to attend the seminars included targeted mailings using company addresses from a marketing database; notices in contractor organizations' newsletters, membership mailings, and Small Contractors And Lead Paint Web sites; mailings to contractors insured by the State Compensation Insurance Fund; and outreach by county health departments. 

The outreach message to contractors was encompassed in the training seminar title on the invitation flyer, "Prevent Lead Poisoning Before It Poisons Your Business!” The invitation emphasized that contractors would hear a fellow contractor discuss how to approach a job where lead could be present, get up-to-date information on lead requirements, begin to learn how to work safely around lead paint, and Small Contractors And Lead Paint receive a contractor's guide to lead safety and other useful resources. 

Educational Approach Our educational approach drew on the theories of empowerment education (Freire, 1973), the diffusion and adoption of innovations (Rothman, 1974), and the health belief model (Rosenstock, 1974). Our training program content derived from a multistep causal analysis of the problem, Small Contractors And Lead Paint which by design led us to promote a multifactorial set of interventions, some behavioral, some engineering controls, and some administrative (Goldenhar & Schulte, 1996; Vojtecky, 1988). 

Empowerment education is an approach to learning that is participatory, based on the students' real-life experiences, incorporates dialogue between and among educators and students, seeks to give students the ability to identify and Small Contractors And Lead Paint solve problems collectively, and critically analyzes the organizational and system wide causes for problems. 

Although we had some limitations in participatory approaches because of the audience size (i.e., ranging from 11 to 108 attendees), we tried to maximize opportunities for dialogue and interaction. We also conveyed the message that lead poisoning was not an accident, nor due to one person's bad behavior, Small Contractors And Lead Paint but much more dependent on what kind of hazard identification and prevention systems they instituted in their companies. 

The diffusion and adoption approach is a process by which new ideas and practices are propagated and Small Contractors And Lead Paint gain acceptance by groups of people. This educational approach was critical because we were attempting to introduce lead-safe work practices that were not part of what painting and remodeling contractors typically did. 

Given that attendees were voluntarily attending a government-sponsored educational activity, we believe that many of the contractor attendees represented, not the mainstream, but rather the more safety-motivated in their industry. They likely fell into the categories of being innovators, early adopters and early majority adopters, Small Contractors And Lead Paint who were at various stages in the adoption process. 

This approach helped us to better understand our audience, identify areas of acceptance and resistance, and Small Contractors And Lead Paint tailor our materials accordingly. The health belief model maintains that individuals take action to avoid disease when motivated by certain factors. 

Here, we needed to convince small contractors that they were either in the past or Small Contractors And Lead Paint present personally susceptible to lead poisoning (because many are working contractors), that their employees and families were personally susceptible (which was a threat to their business), and that the risk to both had a moderate degree of severity. 

We attempted to convince them that taking a particular set of lead-safe work actions would be beneficial to them and their employees by reducing their susceptibility to this disease. We encouraged contractors to convey this prevention message to their employees by alerting workers to dangerous work practices and Small Contractors And Lead Paint conditions more frequently, expressing concern for worker safety explicitly, and praising workers for safe work, in a way that is culturally acceptable in this industry (Gillen, Baltz, Gassel, Kirsch, & Vaccaro, 2002). 

Although this intervention was a training program, the content reflected a view that the participants had to undertake a combination of responsibilities and changes, and not just a change in knowledge, to create a lead safety program. For example, Small Contractors And Lead Paint hazard identification and control, as a primary supervisory responsibility, has been identified as key to safety in the construction industry (McConnell, 1996).

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