Construction accidents are a growing problem for Latinos

Construction work is an appealing option for many people in North Carolina. Once they are trained and understand their role, it is a rewarding and well-paying career choice. Many people who might have come from other countries and toil in blue collar occupations work these types of jobs. Frequently, it is a fruitful area of employment for Latinos.

Despite its positives, there is no doubt that construction can be a risky occupation. There are heavy tools, the need to operate complicated equipment, driving and navigating large vehicles and the need to be stationed at great heights. Trusting co-workers and employers is a necessity.

Unfortunately, recent statistics show that work accidents and fatal injuries are particularly significant for Latino construction workers. Knowing the facts is important when trying to stay safe and with being aware of how to be compensated for the injuries, medical expenses and long-term implications.

More Latino workers are losing their lives than other groups

An investigation by the Charlotte Observer found that the number of fatal accidents on construction sites are substantially worse for Latinos when compared to Black and white workers. While this group comprises just over one-quarter of construction workers, they accounted for 60% of the fatalities.

Safety advocates for Hispanic workers say that more must be done to keep them safe on the job. It is believed that employers are not providing the proper training and safety equipment for them. Frequently, these workers are unaware of the legal requirements employers are expected to follow for safety. Many of them do not speak English fluently or speak it at all. In addition, they are fearful of losing their jobs if they complain about being put in dangerous situations.

It is not just construction work where Latinos are in jeopardy. Researching the numbers from the American Journal of Industrial Medicine for 2009 to 2017, Latino employees in general had double the number of fatal accidents on the job than their white and Black counterparts.

Workers’ compensation can help the injured and families left behind

These statistics are worrisome for myriad reasons. Latino workers are trying to provide for their families and be productive members of society. When construction accidents occur and they are injured or lose their lives, it is crucial to know what steps can be taken to cover for all that was lost.

That includes medical costs, lost wages, death benefits and more. Understanding how workers’ compensation coverage works is important.

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