Hispanics dying on job at higher rates than others
June 05, 2008 11:46 AM EST
ATLANTA – Hispanic workers die at higher rates than other laborers, with 1 in 3 of these deaths occurring in the construction industry, a government study reported Thursday.
Hispanics tend to hold more high-risk jobs than those in other racial groups, but language and literacy barriers and poor training and supervision may also be factors, researchers said. The leading causes of death in recent years have been falls and highway-related accidents.
“Many of the Hispanic workers in construction are undocumented, and many of those who are recently arrived do face a language barrier,” said Rakesh Kochhar, associated director for research at the Pew Hispanic Center.Â “A language barrier hinders understanding of a job, or the risks associated with it, or safety precautions,” said Kochhar, who was not part of the new study”.
Hey, I would like to think that our Non-English speaking Paisano workers don’t need translated warnings such as: “No Atraviese el Freeway Mientras Vienen Carros”, or “No Se Tiren De La Azotea” in order to avoid accidents. I also don’t believe that a lack of English literacy equals a lack of common sense. I like to think that these guys have as much good sense and sufficient work skills & survival instincts as anyone else. Perhaps there’s just greater numbers of Non-English speaking workforce out there today with a greater exposure to hazardous working conditions? Or, more conspiratorily, perhaps worksite management isn’t as vigilant to all safety guidelines when these hard working, but non-english speaking, paisas are on the job? Who Knows? I just think that these workers deserve a little more credit than this study by some East Coast researchers would imply.