Death Rates Increasing For Hispanic Workers In U.S.
USA Today reports that deaths of Hispanic workers in the United Sates are up 76% since 1992.
This despite the reduction in the number of all workplace deaths in the United States since 1992.
From the story—
“Hispanic workers have fallen off roofs, been crushed under heavy machinery and run over by trucks, according to workers’ rights advocates, such as the Austin-based Workers Defense Project. Austin alone has reported four Hispanic deaths this year. Last month, OSHA pledged to bolster the number of inspectors in Texas in response to the growing number of construction-related deaths, more than half of them Hispanic…. Workers without legal documentation to be in the U.S. are less inclined to join a union, which helps protect workers, or protest when conditions seem dangerous, said Raj Nayak of the California-based National Employment Law Project. “They’re doing the most dangerous work for longer hours,” Nayak said….Jose Omar Puerto, 19, from Honduras, was repairing a roof on an Austin apartment building in 2007 when his aluminum ladder became entangled in electrical wires. He was electrocuted and killed, his sister, Marta Puerto, said. …His company paid for the funeral and the body’s return to Honduras, she said. The family received no further compensation…. Some of the fatalities among Hispanics could have been avoided with proper training, said Michael Cunningham of the Texas State Building and Construction Trades Council, a labor consortium…”No matter what country they’re from, whether they’re here legally or illegally, someone should make sure they have the proper training,” he said.
Here is a story about the machine death of 40 year old Ana Marie Vital. Ms. Vital died in California on July 21 when she was sucked into a machine at a factory that is a major supplier for McDonald’s.
Also in the USA Today story about the deaths of Hispanic workers—
“Last year, officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration office in Dallas investigated 50 Hispanic workplace deaths in Texas alone, according to OSHA figures. So far this year, they’ve investigated 21 fatalities, including three workers who fell 11 stories from a collapsed scaffolding last month in Austin. ”
Some folks in Texas and in all parts of the United States love immigrant-bashing. They go after folks who crossed rattlesnake-infested deserts to be treated poorly by people who often have little self-discipline and little regard for others.
We all want the lowest prices at the store, but we rarely ask who is bearing the brunt of lower prices.
It is not the fault of immigrant workers that many in Texas and in the United States have long failed to take advantage of the benefits white skin has historically offered in our nation.
We need to treat each other with compassion. We need to realize that our fates are all connected.