Fox News Latino: Latino construction workers continue to die on the job because of unsafe conditions
A new analysis of federal safety data found that while overall jobs in the construction industry are getting safer, Latino workers are still getting injured at alarming rates.
According to the data, between 2010 and 2013, the number of deaths among Latinos in the construction industry rose from 181 to 231. The number of deaths also rose in the industry overall, from 774 to 796, but that increase is attributed entirely to Latinos. During the same period, deaths for non-Latino construction workers fell from 593 to 565.
Each day across the country, hundreds of day laborers and migrant workers wait in street corners waiting to get hired. They are sometimes picked up by contractors or subcontractors looking to cut corners by hiring cheap labor that won’t expect benefits – most undocumented workers live in the shadows and, in general, don’t qualify for any federal benefits.
“There’s a clear correlation between low-wage jobs and unsafe jobs,” said Occupational Safety and Health Administration chief David Michaels, according to the Nation. “Workers in low wage jobs are at much greater risk of conditions that will make it impossible for them to live in a healthy way, to earn money for their family, to build middle class lives.”
Another reason for the spike in deaths is a rise in safety violations on job sites run by smaller, non-union contractors and an unwillingness by some undocumented workers to report violations, according to a 2013 study by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
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