The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gave workers the right to a safe job. Yet, more than 40 years later, workers are still hurt and even killed on the job by preventable injuries.
Latinos are the group most likely to die from an injury on the job; in 2012, 708 Latinos were killed in the workplace. In 2011, the Latino worker fatality rate was four fatalities for every 100,000 workers, compared to 3.5 overall.
The overrepresentation of Latinos in hazardous jobs only partially explains their risk of injury or death at work. Other factors, such as outdated standards, underresourced enforcement agencies, and a broken immigration system that leaves workers vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers all contribute to the unacceptably high level of occupational injury and illness among Hispanic workers.
We analyze and report on Latino trends in occupational safety and health and we advocate for modernized labor protections and better enforcement of existing occupational safety and health laws.