ASSE Workforce Group to Discuss Hispanic Workplace Safety Issues

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Director Dr. John Howard and Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Edwin Foulke, Jr., will address a meeting of the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) group today at the Las Vegas Hilton on the growing number of Hispanic worker injuries.

As for Hispanic workers recent NIOSH and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show in the U.S.:

  • During 2003-2006, 34 percent of Hispanic worker deaths occurred in the construction industry.
  • Work-related injury deaths among Hispanic workers during 1992-2006 totaled 11,303, approximately 13 percent of all U.S. work-related injury deaths during that period.
  • Median age of Hispanic decedents was 35 years, compared with a median age of 42 years for all workers.
  • Approximately 95 percent of Hispanic decedents were male.
  • The annual work-related injury death rate for Hispanic workers exceeded the rate for all U.S. workers every year during 1992-2006, with the exception of 1995.
  • In 2006, the work-related injury death rate for Hispanic workers was 5.0 per 100,000 Hispanic workers, compared with rates of 4.0 for all workers, 4.0 for non-Hispanic white workers, and 3.7 for non-Hispanic black workers.
  • During 2003-2006, the work-related injury death rate for foreign-born Hispanic workers was 5.9, compared with a rate of 3.5 for U.S.-born Hispanic workers.
  • During 1997-2006, highway incidents were the most common fatal event, with the exception of 2000 and 2006, when falls to a lower level were most common.
  • During 1992-1996, homicide was the most common fatal event among Hispanic workers.
  • Work-related homicides among Hispanics decreased 37 percent from 1992 to 2006, while the number of falls to a lower level increased approximately 370 percent during the same period.
  • The most common industries employing Hispanics who died from work-related injuries were construction (34 percent), administrative and waste services (11 percent), agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting (10 percent), and transportation/warehousing (10 percent).
  • Of those states with 30 or more work-related injury deaths among Hispanics during 2003-2006, 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).
    • NIOSH notes that inadequate knowledge and control of recognized safety hazards and inadequate training and supervision of workers, often exacerbated by different languages and literacy levels of workers, contributed to higher numbers of worker-related injury deaths among Hispanic workers.

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