(Editor’s note: the following is an AFL-CIO press release)
The workplace fatality rate for Latino workers continues to be higher than the fatality rate for all U.S. workers, according to a new report released today by the AFL-CIO. The report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” presents data on job illness, injuries and fatalities for Latinos from 1992 to 2010 and offers recommendations to improve work safety for all workers.
The report reveals that Latino workers – immigrants in particular – continue to have a higher risk than other ethnic groups to be fatally injured while working. In 2010, 682 Latino workers were killed on the job – 427 of those deaths, or 63 percent, were Latino immigrant workers.
Although the rate of fatal injuries to Latino workers decreased from 4.0 per 100,000 workers in 2009 to 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2010, the fatality rate among Latino workers was 6 percent higher than that for all U.S. workers. California, Texas and New York had the greatest number of foreign-born worker fatalities in 2010, with 134, 115 and 63 deaths, respectively. Of the foreign-born workers who were fatally injured at work in 2010, 55 percent were Latino.
The report includes state-by-state profiles of workers’ safety and health and features state and national information on workplace fatalities, injuries, illnesses, the number and frequency of workplace inspections, penalties, funding, staffing and public employee coverage under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The report also addresses delays in the standard-making process, ergonomic injuries, new and emerging hazards like pandemic flu and other infectious diseases.
“Latino workers continue to face higher rates of workplace fatalities, especially those born outside of the United States. And while we have made great strides in making our workplaces safer, too many women and men in this country and around the world continue to be hurt or killed on the job. Workers continue to be exposed to well-known hazards that are poorly regulated and inadequately controlled,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The Obama administration has moved forward to strengthen protections with tougher enforcement, but business groups and Republican legislators have launched a major assault on regulations to protect people on the job. As we move forward to build an economy for our future, it’s important that we commit together to developing and issuing the kinds of rules critical to ensuring the safety of all working people.”
The report’s release came after hundreds of vigils and actions held across the country this past weekend to commemorate Workers Memorial Day on April 28.[Photo by wools]