Thursday, May 7, 2015

ASSE & NIOSH Issue Joint Report on At-Risk Workers

ASSE and NIOSH have issued a joint report that explores overlapping vulnerabilities facing young Hispanic immigrants who work in the construction industry. The report examines why this population is at increased risk for injury and death on the job. Hispanics were the only ethnic group to see an increase in the number of workplace fatalities in 2013. Prior studies have shown that because of their work in dangerous occupations, Hispanic immigrant workers experienced a higher occupational mortality rate (5.9 per 100,000 full-time employees) than all other workers (4.0 per 100,000 full-time employees), according to statistics collected from 1992 to 2006.

“The safety community and the construction industry must take note of this report and work together to improve the safety conditions outlined in it,” says ASSE President Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM.

NIOSH and ASSE plan to work with community groups, national safety organizations, U.S. safety agencies and various Latin American consulates to develop tools to help this employee group and its employers better manage occupational hazards.

“Improving the health and safety of vulnerable populations recognizes that occupational hazards are distributed differentially,” says NIOSH Director John Howard. “This collaborative effort provides a foundation that addresses the specific needs of small businesses, minority populations and the many young workers who dedicate themselves to their work.”

The report was announced prior to the Society's America's At-Risk Workers symposium held May 6 in Washington, DC. Be sure to check out @PSJ_Cathy Twitter feed for sound bytes from the event.