Helping Create Electrical Safety Awareness for Day Laborers in Los Angeles

SCE and the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center have teamed up to educate the hundreds of day laborers who often work under dangerous conditions.

November 13, 2014 | By Mashi Nyssen

Francisco Peña is one of the approximately 22,000 day laborers in Los Angeles who spend long days looking for temporary work on street corners and in front of home improvement stores. For these workers, uncertainty, hard work and sometimes dangerous conditions are part of their daily life.

Peña wakes up each work day at 5 a.m. with the hope of finding a job wherever there is a need — home construction, refurbishment, landscaping, roofing or painting. And most importantly, he wants to come home safely to his family and put food on the table. 

To help alleviate some of these dangers and uncertainty, the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC) and Southern California Edison (SCE) have partnered to increase awareness about electrical safety, educating laborers who do not have access to standard safety gear. 

“My 5-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son and wife wait for me every night and we’re grateful for any sense of relief,” said Peña. “I appreciate that SCE reminds us of the potential dangers while working around electricity.” 

SCE is providing day laborers with an electrical safety kit to help increase safety awareness. The kit includes an electrical safety flyer, a collapsible water bottle and a flashlight. To increase collaboration, SCE and the Pomona center are also doing an opportunity drawing for safety gloves and an electrical tester safety kit.

Through this partnership, SCE and the center are scheduled to inform about 500 day laborers in Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and San Bernardino, including the Day Labor Center in Pomona, about safety around electricity.

“The partnership is an opportunity for SCE to unite efforts with PEOC and deliver our electrical safety messages to laborers who may work near power lines,” said Don Neal, SCE director of Corporate Environmental, Health & Safety. “We’ve developed a new electrical safety video and electrical safety flyer in different languages that encourages them to be safe around electricity.” 

The mission of the Pomona center is to provide an opportunity for day laborers to find safe work at a fair wage, to advocate for policies that impact their lives and improve conditions for all immigrant workers.

Eddie Gonzalez, an organizer at the center, has been working to improve the lives of day laborers since 2008. 

“Thank you Edison for reaching out to the day laborer community and educating us on the importance of electrical safety,” he said, ‘”not only to come home in one piece, but continue to provide for our families and children.”

For more on electrical safety, visit

Topics: Safety