Watch this session to learn about the needs regarding infectious diseases of one of our most vulnerable workforces: agriculture and construction

CLEAN Lessons Learned

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Workers: Challenges, Solutions & Invisible Barriers

Agriculture and Construction

This was the agriculture and construction session of the CLEAN 2022 summit: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Workers: Challenges, Solutions & Invisible Barriers with Moderators Barb Epstien and Brett Cole and speakers Bryan Ortiz, Carl Ramage, Betty-Ann Bryce, and Travis Parsons. 

In this session, industry experts converged to discuss the pressing challenges of health and safety in construction and health and safety in agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversation touched on the vast array of information countries struggle with and how this affects public trust and compliance. A significant emphasis was placed on staff shortages and the adaptive measures taken in response, especially during peak health crises like the Omicron spread.

Highlighting the pivotal role of Hispanic construction workers, the dialogue acknowledged both documented and undocumented migrant workers’ invaluable contributions, particularly in the U.S., during health crises such as COVID-19. The experts further spotlighted rural labor shortages, with discussions revolving around improving infrastructure like broadband access, which is crucial in bridging the digital and knowledge gap in these areas.

A recurring theme was the essential nature of worker engagement to ensure optimal health and safety in construction and agriculture. The sense of belonging and active participation of workers in safety protocols was stressed. The session concluded with a call to depoliticize information, focusing on trust, engagement, and safety, underscoring the necessity of a multi-layered approach in disseminating vital information, especially in diverse and rural communities.

Watch the other sessions of the 4-part NAS CLEAN Lessons Learned series

Gig Economy Workers Discussion Panel: Knowledge Dissemination and Application

Go to this session

Education: Risks and Recommendations

Go to this session

Keynote Presentation: Higher Risk Occupations and COVID-19

Go to this session

First Responder Discussion Panel: Risks, Training, PPE and Decontamination

Go to this session

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