Latino and Immigrant Construction Workers Disproportionately Suffer More Fatalities and Injuries

construction worker

Latino and immigrant construction workers are disproportionately killed in construction site fall accidents in comparison to workers of any other races, according to a report released in October.

From 2003 to 2011, 60% of the fall from an elevation fatalities investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) involved a worker who was Latino and/or an immigrant. To put the high number of deaths in proportion, only 34% of construction workers reported being either Latino and/or an immigrant.

In 2012, 708 Latino workers were killed from work-related injuries, according to statistics from OSHA. This means more than 13 deaths a week or an average of two Latino workers killed every day of the year.

Construction work is dangerous and safety precautions must be taken.

Falls from an elevation are one of the top causes of fatalities in the construction industry, according to OSHA. They account for approximately one-third of fatal occupational injuries on construction sites.

Latinos and/or immigrant face a greater chance of injury or death on the construction site because more of them work construction for smaller, non-union contractors. The report said 86% of Latinos and/or immigrant fall-related fatalities were working for a non-union employer. According to the report, non-union contractors more often provide inadequate training and “follow safety procedures less rigorously.”

Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, however, employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for employees. New York also has its own workplace safety laws. An employer can be held legally responsible for unsafe working conditions. No matter what size they are employers cannot fail to properly train and equip workers in accordance with the law.

Construction-related injuries and construction accident lawyers.

Construction work is one of the most dangerous industries in the country and injuries are, unfortunately, common. However, falls from an elevation can almost always be prevented. According to the report, at 85% of the construction sites where a minority or immigrant worker died from a fall-related accident, OSHA investigators “found there had been the highest level violation of OSHA construction safety standards.”

Should an injury occur, the laws can help an injured construction worker receive monetary compensation that can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and more! An experienced construction accident lawyer can help identify liable parties for a construction accident, whether the general contractor, subcontractor, or manufacturer of defective equipment is the one to blame.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.