WORKER'S RIGHTS & SAFETY
BPSOS is dedicated to educating nail salon workers and owners on the safety and health hazards in their workplace. Over 160,000 Vietnamese, 95% of which are women, work in approximately 30,000 nail salons across the country.
Nail salon workers are exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals, including carcinogens and reproductive toxins. Furthermore, nail salon workers also face risk for musculoskeletal injuries caused by ergonomic hazards.
Since there were no existing plans to address these issues in a systematic manner, BPSOS:
Developed a training material titled “A Guide for Nail Salon Workers”
Translated five OSHA-approved materials into Vietnamese regarding the toxic chemicals benzene, acetone, methyl methacrylate, and formaldehyde.
Conducted trainings about protection from chemicals used at work.
Educated nail salon workers on their rights and responsibilities.
TIFFANY NGUYEN BUDZINSKI
Tiffany Nguyen was nine years old when she came to the U.S. from Vietnam with her mother, brothers, and sisters. October 13, 1989 was the first time that she met her father, Nguyen Thanh Hung. Mr. Nguyen was among the “boat people” who, like thousands of other refugees, fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in search of freedom in United States. As a “boat person”, he was among the few lucky souls to escape the communist regime, survive long days at sea with a stranded boat, and arrive safely at a refugee’s camp in Thailand.
As a 1.5 generation, Tiffany was born in Vietnam but was raised in the United States. Tiffany and her family came to America with empty hands and nothing but a shirt on their backs. Tiffany learned early in life the importance of work ethics and the value of integrity.
She was inspired by her hardworking mother who consistently worked to provide for the family and motivated Tiffany for her achievements in higher education.
After she graduated from high school and entered college, she helped her mom open a family nail salon business. Tiffany worked as a manager and a nail technician for the family nail salon while obtaining her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Toledo. After she graduated, she found her passion to help and empower underserved Vietnamese, including nail salon business owners and workers, through her work with BPSOS.
Over the years, Tiffany led BPSOS‐California (BPSOS-CA) to positively improve and directly impact over six thousand lives through the array of services offered through BPSOS‐CA. In particular, the Campaign Awareness Community Occupational Safety (CACOS) program educated over 1,000 nail salon workers and business owners on ways to reduce exposure to toxic contaminants associated with nail products. The program also created a shared context for collaborative problem‐ solving by facilitating understanding among health providers, regulators, nail salon owners and technicians, and community leaders about the health concerns among low‐income Vietnamese nail salon workers. Under her leadership, BPSOS received the Citizen of Excellence Community Involvement Award, and Environmental Justice Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2009.