A new national study has come out with some interesting data on the rate of workplace injuries across different racial groups. The report, which was published in the February edition of Health Affairs, concludes that African American and Hispanic immigrant men are more likely to suffer workplace injuries or permanent disabilities than other racial groups.
In fact, the University of Southern California researchers who conducted the study found that workplace injuries for different races occur at the following rates:
- Hispanic immigrants: 13.7 injuries per 1,000 workers
- African American men: over 12 injuries per 1,000 workers
- U.S. born Hispanic men: almost 12 injuries per 1,000 workers
- White men: 11.8 injuries per 1,000 workers
In addition, the rate of disability supports the evidence that African American and Hispanic immigrants are more likely to experience injury in the workplace. For the age bracket of workers aged 50 to 64, the rate of disability for these two age groups was 4.4% and 4.2% respectively. For white workers in the same age bracket, the rate of disability was 2.5%.
The researchers drew from an extremely large sample size from two separate sets of data to verify their findings. They used both the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey from 2006-2013, which included 11.6 million respondents and four years of Surveys of Income and Program Participation by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics which included 198,000 respondents.
Although the researchers did not offer an answer as to the cause of this disparity, they did highlight some factors which may influence the situation. For example, they write, “Based 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."
The lead author on the study, Seth Seabury, directs the Keck-Schaeffer Initiative for Population Health at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and Keck School of Medicine of USC. Seabury says that “disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs that raise their risk of injury and disability."
In Illinois, there has been a 28 percent increase in workplace deaths since 2013, while thousands more become sick or injured on the job. Certain jobs, in particular, have higher rates of injury and death, such as logging, construction work, or oil and gas industry jobs. In addition, jobs that require chemical exposure such as agricultural work or factory assembly may pose unique risks.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident and are struggling to obtain the financial assistance you need to recover or manage your permanent injuries, it may be time to speak with an attorney. A lawyer with experience in job-related injuries can fight for you and help give you the time and space you need to heal. At Benassi & Benassi, we are committed to getting our clients and their families the justice they deserve and equal treatment under the law.