Community health workers should be worker advocates

Authors: Richard Rabin
Year: 2022
State: MA
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW role scope of practice
Evidence Generation: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Policy: General language around CHW WD
Sustainable Financing: Marketing/awareness campaigns including national
Workforce Development: CHW training programs (not cert.), National endorsement/stance on CHWs, Training- Continuing education

CHWs trained in the basics of occupational safety and health are in a unique position to assist workers who are injured or made ill at their place of employment, or who may recognize a workplace hazard, but are unaware of their health and safety rights. CHWs who receive training on the workplace regulatory agencies (OSHA; workers’ compensation agencies; wage and hour enforcement agencies; workplace discrimination commissions, etc.) would be in a position to assist their employed clients in issues that are of greatest concern to them. In addition, CHWs would be in a position to refer and connect injured and other at-risk employees to other resources, such as advocacy organizations, immigrant groups, adult education classes, legal assistance.

Low-income and other disadvantaged workers experience many hazards to their health and well-being, and knowledgeable CHWs could play a significant role in assisting them to confront such challenges.

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