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Data shows more needs to be done to protect contract and Latino workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published the preliminary results of the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary. While overall fatalities among U.S. workers decreased over 2012 numbers, based on data related to workplace fatalities and the workers and industries most impacted, it’s clear more needs to be done to protect the safety and health of workers in the U.S.

The San Diego area and state of California has a large number of Hispanic and Latino residents many of which are employed in industries including construction and agriculture. Preliminary data shows that injury rates among Latino and Hispanic workers increased by seven percent during 2013.

Another notable finding from the preliminary results of the 2013 CFOI report relates to safety concerns surrounding contract workers. During 2013, 17 percent of workplace fatalities involved contract workers. Roughly 50 percent of reported fatal work injuries involved contract workers in the construction industry. More than 30 percent of these worker deaths involved contract workers who died as a result of injuries suffered in fall accidents. Additionally, 18 percent of contract worker fatalities resulted when a worker was struck by a falling object or by equipment.

The high incidents of fatal injuries among Latino and Hispanic workers and among contract workers in the construction industry indicate more needs to be done to protect these workers. Contract workers may lack the experience of other construction workers and are often not provided by employers with sufficient training. Additionally, some Latino and Hispanic workers may experience difficulties related to language barriers which can inhibit the communication of important health and safety information.

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