Popular Telenovela Delivers Fall Prevention Message

Devoted watchers of Telemundo's prime-time telenovela "Pecados Ajenos" saw the first in a series of episodes last night that will highlight the causes, consequences, and prevention of common construction falls, thanks to a partnership involving the Hialeah, Fla.-based national TV network, the Center for Construction Research and Training (a construction safety nonprofit formerly named the Center to Protect Workers' Rights), and Hollywood, Health and Society, a federally funded project at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center that provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate information for health storylines. The show is broadcast weeknights at 10 p.m.

CDC/NIOSH said the focus of the "Pecados Anejos" ("The Sins of Others") storyline was determined by these facts:

• More than 2 million Latinos work in construction in the United States.
• Every day, four construction workers die on the job, and one of them is Latino.
• Falls are the most common cause of fatal injuries to construction workers.
• The consequences of a fall affect not only the worker, but also his family and community.

"Construction falls can be prevented," the federal agency said in its online release promoting the series. "Contractors and foreman can do many things to organize the worksite to be safer for their employees. But workers themselves can also make some inexpensive, simple changes to the way they work that can save their lives. Ladders are one of the most common pieces of equipment on a construction site. But that doesn't mean they are safe. There are construction workers who are injured or killed falling from a height every day. Using ladders more safely is one way to start preventing falls at your work site."

The release (www.cdc.gov/Features/ConstructionFalls/ in English, www.cdc.gov/spanish/especialesCDC/ConstruccionCaidas/ in Spanish) includes fall prevention and ladder safety tips, as well as links to online resources in each language.

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