New Report Reveals Hispanics, Latinos, Immigrants More Likely to Die on the Job Than Other U.S. Workers

May 20, 2015 by No Comments

concrete structures demolition or by hand with chisel
Everyone has a bad day at work from time to time. Unfortunately, U.S. Hispanic/Latino workers face much more than a rough day at the office. According to a newly published report, they are more likely to be killed on the job than workers from any other racial or ethnic group.

The report, from the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations’ (AFL-CIO), revealed that 817 Hispanic and Latino workers died on the job in 2013. In total, an estimated 4,585 U.S. workers suffered from workplace related injuries that later resulted in their death.

“Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” found that Hispanic/Latino workers have an 18% higher chance of dying on the job than workers from all other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Furthermore, immigrants face an even higher risk due to employer exploitation.

Occupational diseases led to the deaths of an estimated 50,000 workers — a loss of almost 150 workers daily due to unsafe working conditions. Unintentional injuries continue to remain the third leading cause of death among U.S. Hispanics and Latinos, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“The disturbing rate of death on the job within the Latino community makes clear the pressing need to ensure that all workers to have a greater voice in the workplace,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a press release.

The 2013 statistics shared by the AFL-CIO showed that the number of Latino workers killed on the job rising significantly from the previous year, jumping from 748 to 817. California had the highest number of deaths (194), followed by Texas (92) and Florida (68).

Two of the industries in which Hispanics and Latinos face significant job-related dangers are construction and landscaping. In a single year between 2012 and 2013, the number of Hispanic and Latino deaths among pruners and tree trimmers doubled. Similarly, the number of Hispanic and Latino deaths in the oil and gas sector has also doubled since 2010. Also in 2013, more than half — 66% — of all Hispanic and Latino worker deaths were among immigrants, and 87% of landscaping deaths were immigrant workers.

The landscaping industry, which often employs many Hispanic and Latino workers, generates $74 billion annually. According to the the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Hispanic and Latino run businesses contribute more than $468 billion to the U.S. economy each year. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who also serves as a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet since April 2014, has used this fact to encourage Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurship.

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