LOHP is committed to serving the needs of workers and communities most at risk – including low-wage workers, immigrant workers, youth, workers with disabilities, and communities of color – in California, nationally, and internationally. We seek to reduce occupational injury, illness and death by protecting the health and safety of workers worldwide. We believe all workers have the right to information about the hazards they face on the job and that worker involvement is an essential element of any effective health and safety program.
LOHP is a community service program of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of California, Berkeley. We work with unions, labor/management groups, community organizations, worker centers, small businesses, schools, academia, government agencies, and the general public.
LOHP has a national reputation for innovative participatory training methods and for the development of educational materials appropriate for diverse populations . We provide training programs to over 1000 workers, supervisors, union representatives, staff from community organizations, and others each year. LOHP also conducts participatory research, consults on the development of workplace standards and policies, and plays an integral role in the academic mission of the university by facilitating interaction and learning among researchers, students, and the community.
Our staff includes a multi-ethnic, bilingual group of professionals with backgrounds in public health, participatory adult education, curriculum development, program planning, public policy, and qualitative research methods. LOHP works in partnership with labor unions, community groups, schools, local and state government agencies, and business organizations to develop and implement our programs.
Our work focuses on four themes:
REACHING THE DIVERSE WORKFORCE
LOHP has a strong commitment to reaching our most vulnerable working populations through development and implementation of educational activities that can empower these populations to participate in efforts to promote workplace health and safety. Immigrant workers, young workers, workers in low paying jobs, and other special populations of workers are typically in high hazard jobs and therefore experience higher rates of injury than other groups of employees. Examples of current projects serving the diverse workforce include:
- The Heat Illness Prevention campaign.
- Reaching Workers with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.
- The Young Worker Health and Safety Project.
- The Homecare Worker Health and Safety Project.
TRAINING FOR ACTION
LOHP’s lively, interactive training programs, offered in several languages, encourage participants to take action to improve safety conditions in the workplace. With funding from federal and state government agencies, private foundations, or on a fee-for-service basis, LOHP provides training programs, develops written materials, and offers technical assistance to groups of workers, labor unions, community organizations, employers, health care professionals and others from a variety of occupations and industries, all with the aim of promoting safe and healthful workplaces and reducing work-related injuries and illnesses.
LOHP’s training programs are skills based, action-oriented and focus on empowering workers — out of a recognition that the employees doing the work are in the best position to recognize hazards and identify solutions. LOHP is particularly interested in working with labor-management groups and community organizations that serve vulnerable, underserved workers.
Examples of current training projects include:
- The Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP), funded by the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation.
- The Hazardous Waste Project, funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.
- The School Action for Safety and Health (SASH) program, funded by the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation.
- Workers with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.
LINKING CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY
LOHP serves as a unique “research to practice” (R2P) resource that helps to bring University expertise to workplaces and communities facing occupational and environmental health problems. We promote and facilitate collaboration between researchers, students, and the community (including labor and management organizations, environmental justice groups, public health practitioners, policymakers, and others), through:
- Student internships that provide learning about real world issues, while providing valuable support to host organizations
- Research partnerships that allow researchers access to high risk workplaces and vulnerable communities, as well as community access to high quality research on the issues that affect their lives
- A unique library collection and reference assistance available for University and community users alike
- Consultation to assist in the development of evidence-based standards, legislation, collective bargaining agreements and other policies
We reach out to recruit, encourage and develop a next generation of occupational and environmental health professionals by offering classroom presentations and student project opportunities.
Examples of current projects linking campus and community include:
- Chinatown Restaurant Project
- Hotels Project
- Occupational Health Internship Project (OHIP)
- Sharing Real World Health and Safety in Your Classroom
THE LIBRARY AT LOHP
LOHP has a free health and safety library on the U.C. Berkeley campus that is open to the public.The library has over 10,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and videos on every aspect of workplace health and safety. Click here for the library website and Click here to browse LOHP’s Online Library Catalog.
LOHP’s librarian is available to provide information and referral assistance, and to provide assistance in researching topics such as chemical hazards, ergonomics issues, green jobs hazards, hazards in specific occupations, and general information on workers’ rights. In addition, she can provide assistance in finding publications written by Cal/OSHA, OSHA and NIOSH, among many other sources, and can help you to navigate a variety of online databases such as PubMed.
LOHP produces educational materials on many safety and health topics, tailored to meet a range of language and literacy needs. Many publications are available online here. Others may be ordered for a small fee.
The LOHP Library, together with the California Department of Industrial Relations, has prepared a Multilingual Health and Safety Resource Guide, a comprehensive listing of worker training materials in multiple languages on the web. Click here to see the Guide.