Hazardous work takes toll on Latinos
By Chemical Safety Board Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso
March 22, 2015 | Houston Chronicle
As the chairperson of the U.S. federal agency that investigates chemical disasters, I am concerned for all workers. But as an immigrant from Colombia, where I first studied chemical engineering, I have a heightened concern for Latinos who work in and around chemical facilities across Texas and in the U.S. Their fatality and injury rates are disproportionately high.
In 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 4,405 workers were killed on the job in the United States. This represents an overall fatality rate of 3.2 workers killed for every 100,000 in the workplace; thankfully the rate has been dropping. But for Latinos, the fatality rate has actually increased to 3.8 per 100,000 workers. In human terms, it represents 797 Latino workers gone from their wives, husbands, children, and communities. That is two Latino lives lost at work every day in 2013.
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society