Hispanic workers die at higher rates than other laborers, with one of three deaths occurring in the construction industry, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty-four percent of Hispanic worker fatalities occurred in the construction industry 2003-06, with highway accidents and jobsite falls as the leading causes of death. Work-related falls increased approximately 370% from 1992 to 2006. Hispanics exceeded the annual injury fatality rate for all U.S. workers every year from 1992-2006, with the exception of 1995.
Hispanic workers' growing presence in the workplace has likely led to a communications and training disconnect, making workplace conditions more treacherous than in other states, the report says. Employers may have had a hard time training an increasingly Spanish-speaking work force, it adds.
The states with 30 or more work-related injury deaths among Hispanics during 2003-06, the highest numbers of fatalities were in California (773 deaths), Texas (687), and Florida (417); however, the highest fatality rates were in South Carolina (22.8 per 100,000 Hispanic workers), Oklahoma (10.3), Georgia (9.6), and Tennessee (8.9). An average 23 Hispanic workers out of 100,000 died during work-related activities in 2006.