According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the construction industry is starting to see some strong growth in 2016. Dodge forecasts that the total value of construction starts could reach $612 billion, 9% from 2014. While this is great news for the construction industry in general, within the shadows of this economic prosperity lies a harsh reality, Hispanic/Latino/Latino workers continue to experience higher than average injury and illness in the workplace. Troubling, while the data demonstrates higher incidents, the reality is much likely worst as most Hispanic/Latino/Latino workers fail to report accidents in the workplace for fear of reprisal. This paper will review some of the challenges and opportunities that are present when working with a Hispanic/Latino/Latino worker.
The overall objective of this Proceedings paper is to identify training opportunities and challenges when working with a Hispanic/Latino/Latino workforce. The proceeding will review some of the statistics and findings that shall serves as a call to action for safety and health professionals. The proceeding will help identify some practical solutions to consider when training Hispanic/Latino/Latino construction workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published in 2014 shows fatal job injuries involving Hispanic/Latino/Latino workers divided in two categories, Foreign Born and Native Born. Statistics for the last 10 years has consistently showed some significant disparities, foreign born Hispanic/Latino/Latinos bearing the highest burden. If we review the data on Table 1 foreign born Hispanic/Latinos carry the largest fatal injuries than the native born. This is quite interesting because data reveals that native and foreign born have differences in fatal injury trends.
A series of factor could influence this outcome between both groups such as the literacy rate, knowledge of workers' rights, willingness to assume risk or cultural difference between native and foreign born workers. A common factor that unites both groups is the increase in fatal injuries.
The data reveals that there are distinct cultural challenges when training foreign born Hispanic/Latino workers. For the most part, the United States has seen increased number of immigrants from Central and South America. Central American immigrants are more likely to come from war torn countries.