April 27, 2016
By Griselda Nevarez
The fatality rate for Latino workers has decreased as the overall rate has increased, but Latinos continue to be at greater risk of dying on the job than other workers, a new report finds.
The annual "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect" report released Wednesday by the AFL-CIO found that the fatality rate for Latino workers was 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2014, down from a rate of 3.9 per 100,000 workers in 2013.
Despite the decrease, the fatality rate for Latino workers was still greater than the job fatality rate for all workers, which stood at 3.4 per 100,000 workers in 2014, up from 3.3 per 100,000 workers in 2013. Nationwide, 4,821 workers were killed on the job in 2014, up from 4,585 workers in 2013.
Peg Seminario, director of safety and health for the AFL-CIO, said in a conference call with reporters that the safety and health risks Latino workers face "has been a major concern for years."
"The good news we saw this year was that the fatality numbers and the fatality rate for Latino workers went down in 2014 from 2013," she said. "The bad news was they're still at the highest risk of all workers. They still have the highest fatality rates of any group of workers and all workers as a whole."
In total, 804 Latino workers died on the job in 2014, a slight decrease from the previous year. Of the Latino workers who died, 513 were immigrants and the vast majority were men.
The state with the largest number of Latino worker fatalities in 2014 was Texas. A total of 206 Latinos died while working in Texas, making up more than one-third of all worker deaths in the state that year. Coming in second was California with 130 Latino worker deaths and Florida with 60 Latino worker deaths.
The construction industry was responsible for the most Latino workers who died on the job in 2014. A total of 233 Latinos died while working in construction. Other Latino deaths included 63 landscapers, 60 truck drivers, and 44 agricultural workers.
Transportation incidents were the biggest cause of death for Latino workers, followed by falls, contact with equipment and violence.
"Latino working people should not have to risk their lives to make a living and support their families," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. "Yet every day, millions of hardworking Latinas and Latinos are forced to work with little to no workplace safety protections while big businesses and corporations profit off our lives."
"We must take action to ensure that there are safeguards in place when working people go to work every day," Trumka added.
Source: NBC News