Most people understand there is significant risk associated with a career in construction. As a field of work, construction has a relatively high risk, paired with high rates of injuries and fatalities on the job when compared with other lines of work. While all construction workers do risk injury while working, certain people who work in construction are more at risk than others.
A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the American Society of Safety Engineers in 2017 determined that Hispanic construction workers under the age of 25 are at increased risk for injury and death when compared with other groups working construction.
For those injured in the line of work or families who lose a wage earner due to a construction fatality, there could be options for compensation, including workers’ compensation and even a lawsuit against a negligent employer.
Smaller construction companies are also a risk factor
According to the study, Hispanic immigrant construction workers had an overall higher mortality rate. While all other workers face a risk of death at work of roughly four per 100,000 full-time workers, Hispanic immigrant workers have a mortality rate of 5.9 per 100,000 full-time workers. Even within the group of Hispanic immigrant workers under the age of 25, certain people are at increased risk compared to others.
Those working for smaller companies, with 20 employees or fewer, were at the highest risk. That could be due to the fact that many smaller companies do not invest as much in employee education or safety equipment. Combine that with a potential language barrier, and the potential for increased risk is quite clear.
Many young Hispanic construction workers may not fully understand the risks of a particular position. Smaller employers may not take adequate steps to inform them about job site risks or to educate new workers about standard safety procedures and best practices.
Construction workers deserve adequate safety equipment and education
Employers who cut corners when it comes to safety can put their workers at risk of severe, debilitating injury or even death. In some cases, these employers may rely on the language barrier, unfamiliarity with the legal system and employee protections, and the risk of deportation to prevent workers or their families from making any kind of claim following a serious incident at work.
For those who end up hurt while working, workers’ compensation offers both payment for medical care as well as coverage for lost wages. In the event of a fatality, surviving family members may receive a death benefit from workers’ compensation. In cases where employer negligence contributed to the accident, there may also be potential for a civil lawsuit to recover damages and hold the employer accountable for the incident.