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Latino Workers Dying on the Job

Monday, April 27, 2015
Press Contacts: 

Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535; roger@rkcommunications.net

National Report Shows High Rate of Workplace Deaths

Worker advocates and families say denial of protections and violation of immigrant rights is key factor in recent increase in occupational fatalities for Latino workers in U.S.

SAN DIEGO, CA – The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), one of the nation’s leading worker safety organizations, will host a telephone press call at 1:00 pm Eastern Time this coming Thursday, April 30th, to discuss the high risk of workplace fatalities faced by Latino workers.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 800 Hispanic workers died on the job in 2013, a nine percent increase from 2012. The fatality rate for other white non-Hispanic workers, African-Americans and Asian workers decreased during the same time period.

Thursday’s press call is for Spanish-language media and all speakers will present in Spanish.

Reporters can RSVP to jem.coshnet@gmail.com for call-in information.

Who:

  • Jessica Martinez, Deputy Director, National COSH
  • Martha Ojeda, Director, Fe y Justicia, Houston
  • Monica Velasquez, daughter of Delfino Velasquez, a Latino worker who died on the job in New York, when the ceiling of a car dealership he was demolishing caved in
  • Flor Rodriguez, Coordinator, CLEAN Car Wash Campaign
  • Jeannette Smith, Director, South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice

What: Telephone press call on high risk of workplace fatalities faced by Hispanic workers.

When: Thursday April 30, 1 pm (Eastern time)

Where: To receive call info, please RSVP to jem.coshnet@gmail.com

“We miss our father every day, said Velasquez. The past 5 months have been a nightmare emotionally, but also economically for our family. I have a little brother with special needs and I worry about the stress my mother has been under.”

“It’s clear there is a connection between the denial of rights to immigrant workers in the United States and the increased risks they face on the job,” said Martinez. “Workers who live in the shadows face special challenges when it comes to reporting – and correcting – workplace hazards. Immigration reform is a matter of life and death for Latino workers.”

Other factors that may contribute to the high rate of Latino fatalities include placement of these workers in hazardous, high-risk jobs and a lack lack of Spanish-language training and education on workplace safety.

Thursday’s Spanish-language press call takes during Workers’ Memorial Week, a global event which commemorates workers who lost their lives on the job. In the United States, more than 100 local communities will honor fallen workers. A listing of events is available on the National COSH website.

In observance of Workers Memorial Week, National COSH has released “Not an Accident: Preventable Deaths 2015,” which catalogs workplace fatalities across the United States.

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org. Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.