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Latino workers at greater risk of on-the-job death, report finds

The number of Latino workers killed on the job has risen since 2015, according to a recent analysis by the national trade union AFL-CIO.

According to numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor statistics, work fatalities overall have held steady in recent years. But Latinos are over-represented in workplace deaths, and that number has risen. According to the AFL-CIO’s “"Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect" annual report, the discrepancy in fatalities is largely due to Latinos being disproportionately represented in jobs that are inherently dangerous. A changing political climate may also contribute to the 18 percent increase in Latino worker deaths.

Agriculture, construction and transportation are relatively high-risk occupations. Latinos, particularly in California, comprise a significant portion of the workforce in those industries. Combined with a federal goal of reducing regulation for a variety of industries, and worker deaths are not expected to decrease anytime soon.

California worker safety laws

In California, things are slightly better overall for workers. Despite the relative size and varied industries in the state, California has the fifth lowest rate of workplace deaths in the U.S. That number has held steady in recent years.

In addition, California has relatively strong protections for workers, including undocumented workers. Employers who fail to abide by workplace safety standards can face significant penalties and legal liability, regardless of the race, nationality or immigration status of the injured worker.

If a loved one has tragically lost his or her life on the job, workers’ compensation can help the family compensate for medical and funeral expenses, lost wages and other costs. While it can’t help bring back your loved one, it can help family with daily living expenses during this extremely difficult time.

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