A report by the Keck-Schaeffer Initiative for Population Health at USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and Keck School of Medicine released earlier this year asserts minorities are at the greatest risk of being injured or disabled at work.

The study, published on content.healthaffairs.org last February found that Latino immigrants and African American men aged 18 to 64 had the highest rates of injuries on the job at 13.7 and over 12, respectively, for every 1,000 employees. The study looked at over 11.5 million respondents who were surveyed between 2006 and 2013.

Discrimination to blame?

One explanation for the disparity has to do with discriminatory practices by employers: according to the lead author of the study and directory of the Keck-Schaffer Initiative, “[h]istorically, ethnic minorities have faced some of the worst job conditions. An associate professor of ophthalmology at USC, Seabury went on to add “[t]he United States has made progress in reducing on-the-job injuries, but our findings indicate that disparities still exist. Minority workers experience worse health.

Other researchers tied to the study elaborated, “[b]ased on our findings, policy makers and regulators may need to review whether employers are systematically assigning people of different races and ethnicities different jobs or job tasks according to their risk.”

Others theorize that the minorities who do not speak English fluently may be unable to read safety instructions or warnings on job sites and may not receive the proper training. Most of the work available to minorities and immigrant workers tend to be lower-paying and more hazardous by nature.

Anaheim Work Injury Attorney Standing Beside You

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) routinely advocates for the rights of all workers to be safe while on the job. They pushed for policies to be implemented which ensure employees who do not speak English receive the safety training they need. OSHA encourages employers to not assume that employees can all comprehend English and to be apprised of certain cultural sensitivities.

Minority employees need to know that they have rights as employees. The Orange County work injury attorneys at Willyard Law are experienced in defending the rights of those hurt on the job and recovering the maximum benefits allowed by law. Call us at (714) 237-1700.