Monday, 25 January 2016

ARC grant win for MonCOEH study into workplace hazards for migrant workers

Associate Professor Deborah Glass from the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH) and Associate Professor Alison Reid from Curtin University and co-workers have received an Australian Research Centre (ARC) grant to begin examining exposure to workplace hazards among migrant and Australian-born workers.

This project aims to compare the prevalence of exposure to workplace hazards, namely carcinogens and psychosocial risk factors such as bullying and precarious work, among migrant and Australian-born workers.

The international literature suggests that migrant workers are exposed to more workplace hazards than native-born populations. The evidence base for Australia is patchy despite the fact that Australia has such a large migrant population.

The anticipated goal of this project is to address this gap in evidence. The intended outcomes are the necessary first step in the process of reducing exposure to harmful substances and behaviours for all workers.

This project will identify those vulnerabilities in the migration process, in the migrant worker and in the receiving country that may lead to differential exposure to workplace hazards. Improving migrants’ working conditions will facilitate their labour force participation and job sustainability.

“This information is vital to inform efforts to promote racial and ethnic diversity and the social inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities,” Professor Reid said.

“To extend this work we have chosen to examine workplace exposure to carcinogens and psychosocial risk factors. They represent two different types of workplace hazards that may have been differentially experienced by migrants of different backgrounds and periods of arrival,” Professor Reid said.

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