Workplace fatalities for immigrant and Latino workers

Pennsylvania residents may wonder about the impact of workplace accidents on certain populations. With a significant influx of immigrants from Latino countries, for example, it may be important to consider the potential for injury or death in this population in the context of work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes relevant data on these matters.

Statistics indicate that the risk of on-the-job fatalities for Latino workers is 14 percent more than that for the population in general. An estimated four deaths occur for every 100,000 Latino workers. These numbers were on the decline for many years, but increased significantly from 2010 to 2011. The highest rate of deaths in this population was recorded in 2001 when there were six fatalities per 100,000 workers. The positive aspect of these statistics is the fact that as the population at large saw a 19 percent reduction in workplace fatalities, the Latino population experienced a 33 percent decrease.

Factors influencing the deaths of Latinos on the job include place of birth and types of work. The most significant level of workplace fatalities involved those who were not born in the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of such incidents involved foreign-born Latinos with the majority of incidents occurring in Texas, California, and Florida. Construction-related incidents resulted in the greatest number of these deaths although trucking, manufacturing, and agriculture each represented a large number of work-related deaths.

Employers who hire a large percentage of foreign-born workers may want to consider these statistics as they endeavor to prevent employees’ potential for being injured on the job. Efforts to provide bilingual safety training and warning signs may be important. An individual who has been injured in such a setting may find that legal advice is important for assessing workers’ compensation rights.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Workplace Fatalities in Pennsylvania – 2012”, October 09, 2014

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