Stress-related sleep problems may put migrant roofers in danger

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Photo: fantom_rd/iStockphoto

Houston — Migrant roofing workers are more likely to experience poor sleep quality, which may put them at increased risk of injury, Rice University researchers say.

A team analyzed surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 400 migrant roofers who work in communities impacted by natural disasters.

The researchers identified numerous factors that contributed to shorter sleep duration, restlessness and general sleep problems among migrant roofers. Factors included stress related to working fewer days per month, being out of work, and lacking legal authorization to work. Additionally, workers who lived in temporary housing were shown to be at greater risk of poor sleep quality than roofers who had permanent housing.

In a press release, Sergio Chavez, study lead author and Rice University associate professor of sociology, said a lack of sleep can add to the danger of what is already “harrowing” work.

“Migrant workers form part of a growing occupational group that rebuilds in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” the researchers write in the study. “The work these migrant workers perform is essential but also unstable, exploitative and dangerous, which stresses their health and well-being.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.


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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Protecting Temporary Workers

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON – An eight-year alliance between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Staffing Association (ASA), established to improve the workplace safety and health of temporary workers, continues to be valuable and productive. OSHA and ASA signed an Ambassador document on August 9, 2022, in recognition of ASA’s demonstrated commitment to collaborating with the agency to improve safety and health practices and programs in American workplaces.

The goal of an Ambassador is to continue the longstanding relationships between OSHA and Alliance participants through ongoing outreach and information-sharing, and training.

Brittany Sakata, ASA general counsel (left) and Doug Parker, OSHA assistant secretary
Brittany Sakata, ASA general counsel (left) and Doug Parker, OSHA assistant secretary

OSHA and ASA first signed an alliance in 2014 and it was renewed in 2016. Their collaboration has resulted in several successful initiatives and activities, including:

“Temporary workers are, by law, afforded the same workplace protections as permanent employees,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We are grateful for ASA’s continued dedication to helping OSHA educate temporary workers about their rights and train host employers and staffing agencies on their responsibilities to protect the safety and health of this vital part of the workforce.”

ASA, founded in 1966, is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices.

Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with organizations such as trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies to share information about OSHA’s initiatives and compliance assistance resources with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.


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