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Hispanic Work-Related Deaths Higher Than U.S. Average

In recent years, construction led industries with such deaths

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate due to work-related injuries was consistently higher for Hispanic workers than the general U.S. workforce from 1992 to 2006, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

During this period, 11,303 Hispanic workers in the United States died from work-related injuries, with an annual rate exceeding the rate for all U.S. workers every year except 1995. In 2006, this death rate for Hispanic workers was 5 per 100,000, compared to 4 per 100,000 for all workers. Males comprised roughly 95 percent of the deaths, with a median age of 35 years.

The highest numbers of Hispanic worker fatalities from 2003 to 2006 occurred in California, Texas and Florida, but the highest fatality rate was in South Carolina, with 22.8 per 100,000 Hispanic workers, the report indicates. During these years, the industry employing the most Hispanics who died from work-related injuries was construction, the authors note. From 1992 to 1996, homicide was the most common fatal event in these workers, and in the following years, highway incidents or falls led the list.

"Preventing work-related injury deaths among Hispanics will require 1) employers to take additional responsibility for providing a safe work environment, 2) safety and health agencies to provide employers of Hispanic workers with safety information and ensure compliance with existing regulations, and 3) researchers and health communication professionals to develop additional materials that are culturally appropriate and effective for workers who speak different languages and have varying levels of literacy," write the authors of an editorial note.

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