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Workplace injuries shows to be higher for Latinos and blacks

Researchers with the University of Southern California's (USC) Initiative for Population Heath have determined that both African Americans and Latinos are at a greater risk for suffering a workplace injury more so than other ethnic groups.

As for why these two groups have higher-than-average job-related disability rates, the lead researcher on the project notes that he and his team are only beginning to try to make sense of the disparity. He suspects that a combination of two factors may be to blame.

He notes that, for one, these workers may receive fewer employment offers so, when they do, they jump at them, even if they're not qualified to take them on. He also argues employers may specifically scout out these workers despite knowing they're ill-trained for the task at hand.

In trying to better understand the risks these groups faced, the study's researchers looked at national workplace injury trends. They also reviewed a California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) study published in 2015.

They found that Latinos appeared to be fatally injured in the workplace more so than their non-Latino counterparts. Also, they discovered that members of these two groups tended to work in more dangerous jobs and to take on more dangerous tasks while at work.

In looking at national data, they also were able to determine that those workers who held jobs in roofing had the highest workplace fatality rate among all occupations. They note that in this profession, many injuries go unreported and also that much of the work done in this industry is completed by some of the more disenfranchised members of the society.

While the researchers were unable to conclusively determine that Latinos and African Americans were at a higher risk of workplace injuries because of being assigned more dangerous work tasks, they note it sure appears that way. They argue that legislators and state regulators need to invest additional resources in trying to understand whether employers are purposefully discriminating against certain races by assigning them to take on risky tasks.

Workers are injured on the job everyday. They can be injured because their employer fails to provide them with the necessary safety equipment to properly carry out their assigned tasks. Other employers may fail to properly maintain the premises or equipment being used. If you've been injured on the job, then a Modesto workplace accident attorney can advise you of your different legal options.

Source: 89.3 KPCC, "Study: Higher workplace injury rates for blacks, Latino immigrants," George Lavender, accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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