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California construction workers' accidents often involve Latinos

To some, it may seem that racial inequalities are diminishing across the country. However, others may experience the same disenfranchisement they always have, with little recourse to improve their situations. In California workplaces, minorities often have few choices and may end up in the most dangerous jobs, especially in the construction industry. A recent study has examined the price minorities pay in construction workers' accidents across the country.

A university researched the breakdown of races involved in accidents on the job. The results of the study showed that Latino immigrants are injured and disabled on the job more frequently than people of other races in the same occupations. Latinos are also more likely to work in dangerous jobs such as construction. African Americans have the second highest rate of debilitating workplace injuries.

The occupation with the highest rate of fatal injuries is roofing. One California roofers union reports that 80 percent of its membership is Latino and 10 percent is African American. The research was inconclusive on the question of whether minority workers were injured more often because they are assigned the most dangerous tasks, and the authors of the study suggest that policymakers investigate this possibility.

Construction workers' accidents can result in permanent disabilities and even death. Workers who are injured on the job often find that having an attorney facilitates the process of claiming workers' compensation to cover their medical bills and lost wages. An attorney with experience dealing with insurance companies can work to obtain the maximum settlement possible.

Source: scpr.org, "Higher workplace injury rates for blacks, Latino immigrants", George Lavender, Feb. 15, 2017

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