In New York, Latino workers are in danger. A 2019 report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group, found Latinos make up a disproportionate number of worker fatalities in New York. They make up about 10% of the state’s workforce, yet account for 17% of worksite deaths.
Compounding this issue, the group argues, is concern over worksite safety. Latino workers, particularly those who are immigrants, are less likely to report safety violations. Because their livelihood is at stake, they may be worried about retaliation or negative consequences for reporting these issues. This means many of these Latino or immigrant workers may be more likely to work in unsafe conditions.
Latino workers may face additional hurdles to workplace safety
Latino workers may rightly be concerned about the impact on their ability to stay and work in this country if they attempt to report unsafe conditions. A national study by the Center for Construction Research and Training found that, in 2015, about three-quarters of Latinos in the construction industry were born outside the U.S., and 59% were not U.S. citizens.
A number of recent deadly construction incidents have involved Latino and immigrant workers. That includes a tragic story from the Bronx, when a building collapsed while seven family members were working on the site. One of them died, two were seriously injured and three more suffered other forms of injury.
All workers have a right to safe conditions
It does not matter where a construction worker is from: they all deserve a safe workplace, one free from violations and that adheres to the standards set by the law. Unfortunately, too many owners, developers and contractors fail to prioritize worker safety over short-term profits. When they neglect job safety, the results can be deadly.
If you or someone you love has been harmed because of dangerous working conditions, consider speaking with a knowledgeable work injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your interests.