Social Marketing to Plan a Fall Prevention Program for Latino Construction Workers

Document Type



Background: Latino construction workers experience disparities in occupational death and injury rates. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration funded a fall prevention training program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in response to sharp increases in fall-related accidents from 2005 to 2007. The grant’s purpose was to improve fall protection for construction workers, with a focus on Latinos. This study assessed the effectiveness of social marketing for increasing fall prevention behaviors.

Methods: A multi-disciplinary team used a social marketing approach to plan the program. We conducted same day class evaluations and follow-up interviews 8 weeks later.

Results: The classes met trainee needs as evidenced by class evaluations and increased safety behaviors. However, Spanish-speaking Latinos did not attend in the same proportion as their representation in the Las Vegas population.

Conclusions: A social marketing approach to planning was helpful to customize the training to Latino worker needs. However, due to the limitations of behavior change strategies, future programs should target employers and their obligation to provide safer workplaces.


Construction fall prevention; Construction industry – Safety measures; Construction workers; Falls (Accidents) – Prevention; Hispanic Americans; Latino construction workers; Occupational health disparities; Safety education; Safety training; Social marketing


Construction Engineering and Management | Health Communication | Labor Relations | Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene | Organizational Communication

Publisher Citation

Menzel, N. N. and Shrestha, P. P. (2012), Social marketing to plan a fall prevention program for latino construction workers. Am. J. Ind. Med., 55: 729–735. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22038

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