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Hispanic Construction Trade Show organizers putting focus on safety

CHARLOTTE — Julian Arcila, president of the Hispanic Contractors Association of the Carolinas, said Charlotte-area Hispanic contractors are sorely in need of safety training conducted in Spanish.

That’s why part of the association’s Hispanic Construction Trade Show, set for Nov. 3, will provide seminars on, for example, fall-protection and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s safety regulations and rules.

“Falls on the job site are one of the main causes of death and injury in the Carolinas,” Arcila said. “In 2011, we had a reduction in the number of cases of injury and death caused by falls from 2010, but this is still important for all of our companies.

“Imagine what would happen if a worker falls and dies and the company wasn’t providing all the safety regulations. We want the homeowner and general contractor to understand how to provide a safe environment.”

While OSHA and other regulatory agencies make copies of their rules available in Spanish, the brochures and notices don’t always reach local contractors, Arcila said.

“And we feel that Hispanic contractors don’t have a lot of access to this kind of training in Spanish, even if they have the documents in Spanish,” he said.

The trade show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store at 217 Iverson Way in Dilworth.

In addition to safety training, Arcila said, the event will provide contractors advice on opening a business.

Vendors will include Lowe’s, Wells Fargo, Irwin Tools, National Gypsum, Kohler, Liquid Nails Adhesives, Turner Construction, Messer Construction and Archer Western Contractors.

This will be the first year for the trade show. Last year, the association hosted a Hispanic Safety and Construction Fair, and about 200 people attended, Arcila said.

This year, the event has been turned into a trade show so that more vendors can be featured, he said, adding that about 500 attendees are expected.

There is no cost to attend, he said.

“It is like a festival and is the first time some of the most important construction partners of the country will have the chance to exhibit their products and solutions to a bunch of Hispanic buyers,” he said.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com or (704) 247-2911.

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