Posted On: September 9, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Latino Workers Have Highest Workplace Death Rate

According to the National Council of La Raza, Hispanic workers have the highest death rate from injuries sustained while on the job. The group’s report, called “Fractures in the Foundation: The Latino Worker’s Experience in an Era of Declining Job Quality” notes that the Latino worker death rate—at 4.6% for every 100,000 workers—is higher than the fatality rate in the US and in many developing countries.

The report also stated that Hispanic workers are the lowest paid, have a greater chance of becoming the victims of wage theft, and are likely to deal with more dangerous conditions on the job than any other group of workers.

Some of the other findings in the report:
• Per the US Census Bureau, nearly 400,000 Hispanics became part of the country’s workforce last year.
• Since 2003, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has reported a 6.4% increase in violations of regulations and standards.
• 426,000 Hispanic workers are employed in the agriculture industry.
• In 2007, 937 Latinos, most of them immigrants, died from work-related injuries.
• Many employers try to get out of being in compliance with labor laws because they know the chances they will get caught are low. Lack of compliance can expose workers to dangerous working situations that can lead to injury or death in the event of a work accident.

Ted Smucker, of the Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago, notes that immigrants are especially vulnerable to issues affecting the US workforce.

The report wants the Department of Labor and Congress to increase the number of investigators tasked with enforcing labor law in high-risk work industries, including those involving farming, construction, factories, meat packing plants, and poultry packing plants.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm is committed to making sure that our injured worker clients receive all of the work injury benefits that they are owed following an accident on the job. Unfortunately, some insurers will try to get out of paying work benefits if they can.

Workers have rights and one of those rights is the right to receive Illinois workers’ compensation benefits in the event or injury or death.

Read the NCLR Report (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
National Council of La Raza

OSHA

US Department of Labor

Interfaith Worker Justice

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