WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of an $8 million grant to support a global health organization’s efforts to improve workplace safety and health in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
The organization, La Isla Network, will focus on preventing workplace illnesses, injuries, chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes and COVID-19 in the agricultural sectors of all three countries and in El Salvador’s textile industry. Administered by the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the project is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Root Causes of Migration Strategy, which includes a commitment of more than $20 million to promote respect for, and compliance with labor rights in the region.
The project includes the creation of centers of excellence at sugar mills and manufacturing factories, training events, workshops and data collection using demonstrated best practices. It will also develop systems to monitor occupational safety and health in the region. The data collected from these systems will be shared with local labor and health ministries to help them adapt their workplace safety protocols.
The project’s aims include the following:
- Increasing employers,’ workers’ and government institutions’ adoption of practices that prevent, mitigate and remediate workplace illnesses and injuries.
- Increasing use of existing social protection systems for workers and families impacted by workplace illnesses and injuries.
- Helping employers, unions and government institutions prepare for future pandemics and emerging illnesses and injuries.
La Isla Network is a global health organization that focuses on preventing and mitigating the impact of heat stress and Chronic Kidney Disease of non-traditional causes, an epidemic that impacts thousands of agricultural workers in Central America. The organization has also worked on other health and safety issues in Central America, including the COVID-19 pandemic.