There are nearly 3 million American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) workers in the United States, yet little information exists on the occupational safety and health risks these workers face.
The highest number of AI/AN workers are employed in office and administrative support, sales, management, transportation and material moving, and food preparation and serving. Many AI/AN workers are also employed through tribal enterprises such as medical care, housing, manufactured products, food production, livestock, and tourism.
Few published studies have specifically looked at occupational safety and health risks among AI/AN workers. To address this knowledge gap, NIOSH recently published the American Indian and Alaska Native Worker Safety and Health Strategic Plan. The plan was developed by NIOSH, in collaboration with tribes, tribal-serving organizations, academia, state and local health departments, and U.S. government agencies.
This 10-year strategic plan outlines the research, information, and actions needed to help prevent occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among AI/AN workers. It is organized into four areas of focus: research, practice, policy, and capacity building. The plan will serve as a guide for the nation to develop research and outreach activities in tribal communities.
We are asking our readers to help share this important information. Tribes and their partners can use this plan to find the best path forward for preventing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among AI/AN workers.
The plan should be viewed as a starting point for a variety of initiatives:
Establish research priorities
Guide grant writing
Enhance internal capacity
Implement local worker safety and health activities
For more information, visit our webpage where you’ll find information and videos about worker safety and health activities in tribal communities. You can also subscribe to get worker safety and health resources, research updates, and news about upcoming events related to AI/AN workers.
— Read on www.cdc.gov/niosh/enews/enewsv20n12.html