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Deaths Resulting from Work Injuries Highest Among Latino Workers

Health researchers in Massachusetts and New Jersey discovered that Latinos have the highest rate of death from on-the-job injuries, according to a study published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Report on June 5. A third of those deaths occurred in the construction industry. In recent years, the most common causes of death for workers were falls and highway-related accidents.

One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that Latinos tend to work in high-risk industries as compared to other ethnic groups. However, language barriers and lack of training or supervision may also play a role.

The researchers calculated that the the annual death rate for Latino workers in 2006 was 5 per 100,000. That number was evening higher for Latino immigrants: 6 per 100,000 Caucasian workers had a rate of 4 per 100,000 and for African-Americans, that number was 3.7.

The influx of Latino workers is driven by both a desire for inexpensive labor and poor working conditions in immigrant’s home countries. Undocumented workers are often the most susceptible to potentially fatal injuries, because they fail to report safety violations or injuries that seem “routine.” Even those Latinos working outside of the construction industry may be vulnerable. Slipping on a greasy floor at restaurant or slicing out a finger at a deli may go unreported because of immigration concerns.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or death on the job, then contact our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers. Our team of experienced lawyers can ensure that you get the medical treatment you need and workers’ compensation are you owed.

Latinos suffer higher rate of job-related deaths, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2008
Latino workers die on the job at higher rates than others, People’s Weekly World, June 17, 2008
Related Web Resource
Compliance Assistance: Hispanic Employers and Workers, osha.gov

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