Hispanic Workers Face Very Dangerous Conditions

By Rob Coven | May 15, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is “particularly concerned about our Hispanic workforce, as Latinos often work low-wage jobs and are more susceptible to injuries in the workplace than other workers.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show the number of Hispanic workers who die on the job has risen as the overall number of workplace deaths has declined. According to the BLS, fatalities among foreign-born workers accounted for 74 percent of the fatalities among all Hispanic construction workers since it began collecting foreign-born information.

According to job safety officials, Hispanic immigrants, often unskilled and often in the United States illegally, are hired disproportionately into many of the most dangerous jobs, such as roofing, construction, agriculture and taxi driving.

These workers are exposed to dangerous machinery and equipment with little, if any, training or protection.  As a result Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation practice areas are beginning to include Spanish-speaking attorneys and staff members.

Attorney Marketing in SpanishAs an example, hundreds of people in California to be killed or have their lives changed drastically due to work-related injuries and illnesses. Los Angeles County, which employs a high percentage of Hispanic workers, many of whom are low-wage, immigrant or undocumented workers, accounts for roughly one-quarter of the state’s work-related fatalities, according to the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program, which is part of the California Department of Public Health.

According to FACE, between 1992 and 2007:

  • Hispanic workers accounted for 46 percent of all work-related fatalities in Los Angeles County.
  • Hispanic workers were 50 percent more likely to die on the job than non-Hispanic workers.

The 10 occupations with the highest fatality rates for Hispanic workers in Los Angeles County in that same 15-year period (per 100,000 workers) according to FACE are:

    • Roofers (49.3)
    • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs (30.7)
    • Door-to-door sales and street vendors (26.4)
    • Security guards and gaming officers (25.1)
    • Construction laborers (20.6)
    • Electricians (17.7)
    • Welding, soldering, brazing workers (14.3)
    • Supervisors of construction workers (14.2)
    • Police officers (13)
    • Grounds maintenance workers (12.5)

Rob Coven is president and founder of Market To Latinos an online, Spanish language based, marketing and consulting company. He has been working and living with the Spanish speaking and Latino community since 1984. He writes blogs and shares important articles and research on the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. and abroad. Call Rob at 706-850-7555 or info@MarketToLatinos.com.

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