Death on the Job: Immigrants, Latinos Killed On The Job At Higher Rate Than National Average

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Immigrant workers killed on the job climbed to a decade-high, according to a new labor analysis from the American Federation of Labor and Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) released Wednesday.

The analysis revealed that 943 immigrant workers died in 2015, the latest year that data was available. The figure represents the highest number of fatalities for immigrant labor since 2007, according to the AFL-CIO’s annual “Death on the Job” report.

“These are challenging times for working people and their unions, and the prospects for worker safety and health protections are uncertain,” the AFL-CIO said. The powerful federation, comprised of 55 unions and 12.5 million members, warned members that Trump is moving aggressively on deregulation, which threatens the “gains made under the Obama administration.”

The analysis also revealed that 4,836 workers were killed on the job in the United States in 2015, which is a fatality rate of 3.4 per 100,000 workers. The analysis also reported that 50,000 to 60,000 workers died from occupational  diseases in 2015.

Latino workers faced a fatality rate of 4.0 per 100,000 workers, which is 18 percent higher than the national average. The number of Latinos increased dramatically from 804 deaths in 2014 to 903 deaths in 2015. Sixty-seven percent of the Latinos killed on the job were immigrant workers.

The report found that construction workers suffered the most number of deaths of any industry, with 937. The number and rate of construction deaths increased for the second year in a row, according to the analysis. Agriculture, fishing and forestry was technically a more dangerous sector, with a fatality rate of 22.8 per 100,000 workers.

Health and Safety standards improved in the mining sector, with 26 reported deaths in the coal, metal and nonmetal sector in 2016. The fatality rate in the industry is at a record low. 417 of the deaths were classified as workplace homicides and a total of 703 were classified as incidents of deaths caused by violence.

The analysis concluded that the cost of job injuries and illnesses was between $250 billion and $360 billion a year.

The AFL-CIO did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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