A disproportionate number of Latino and immigrant workers in New York City die in construction site accidents compared to others. According to Fox News Latino, a recent study done by the Center for Popular Democracy found that between the years 2003 and 2011, 75 percent of construction workers who died were either U.S. born-Latinos or immigrants. This finding was based on a review of all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated fatal on-the-job falls.
Safety Violations Cause Deaths
The study reported that 749 Latino workers were killed as a result of work-related injuries in 2011, which amounts to more than 14 deaths a week or two Latino workers killed every single day of the year. While 12 percent of the total number of fatal work injuries that year involved contactor work, Latinos made up 28 percent of all fatal work injuries among contractors.
The report gave several examples including an incident involving one worker who was pouring concrete at a Brooklyn construction site when the building’s fourth floor collapsed crushing him to death. Another worker was removing pipe from a warehouse when it suddenly shifted causing him to fall to his death. Inspectors who looked into these construction site deaths found multiple workplace violations and checked the same box identifying them as “Latino and/or immigrant.” According to U.S. Census figures, 41 percent of construction workers in New York City identify themselves as Latino.
Rights of Immigrant Workers
Immigrant workers, particularly day laborers, may be reluctant to report safety violations because they are afraid of losing their job or worse, getting deported. In addition, the proposed changes to New York’s scaffold law, if passed, could shift the burden from building owners and contractors to the workers. Currently, the scaffold law protects injured workers and holds owners and contractors liable for any safety violations that result in injuries or fatalities.
It is important for immigrant workers to understand that they have rights. At the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, we have represented a number of injured undocumented persons and their families. In a recent case, we were able to recover $3,375,576 for an undocumented victim who was injured while working at a construction site.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
Sources: Fox News Latino, New York Daily News
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