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Latinos were disproportionately at risk of dying while working, according to a new report Olalde

Latinos face a disproportionate risk of dying while on the job in the United States, a new report by AFL-CIO found.

Fatality rates have been increasing over the years and continued doing so in 2022, the year analyzed by the organization, reaching 4.6 per 100,000 workers. That is 24% higher than the national average and a 24% increase over the past decade.

The study also highlighted the risk immigrants face, as they represented 60% of the 1,248 fatalities recorded A case that garnered national attention took place recently, when six Latino workers died after a ship crashed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key bridge.

Black workers' fatality rate also increased, reaching 4.2 per 100,000 workers, the highest it has ever been in almost 15 years. The overall death figure was 734, the highest figure in at least 20 years.

The report said that job safety agencies have been "flat-funded for years, not even keeping up with inflation" even though their responsibilities "have grown with increasing employment and emerging hazards."

It added that despite clear advances over the past 50 years, progress has become more challenging lately, as "employers' opposition to workers' rights and protections has grown, and attacks on unions have intensified."

"Big corporations and many Republicans have launched an aggressive assault on worker protections. They have used their power and influence to attempt to deregulate the work environment, shift the responsibility to provide safe jobs from employers to individual workers, and undermine the core duties of job safety and health agencies," the report said.

Another case that garnered national attention recently took place in Florida, after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill preventing local governments from implementing extreme heat safety measures.

"43 workers died from heat on the job; fatal and nonfatal data are an undercount of the real problem," said AFL-CIO about this issue in particular.

Overall, almost 5,500 people died on the job in 2022, while the fatality rate increased to 3.7 per 100,000 workers. Workplace homicides and suicides increased by 9% and 13%, respectively. Unintentional overdoses increased by 13% year over year.

The report also drew attention to the "enormous cost" of job injuries and illnesses, estimating it amounts to "$174 billion to $348 billion a year."

The states with the highest fatality rates were Wyoming and North Dakota, with 12.7 and 9.8 per 100,000 workers, respectively. Among Latino-heavy states, New Mexico stood out with 6.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

The most dangerous industry was agriculture, forestry and fishing and hunting, followed by mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Transportation and warehousing and construction also made the list.

Older and minors were at risk the most, as those 65 and older had 2.4 times the risk of dying as other workers, with a fatality rate of 8.8 per 100,000. "Many children, mostly migrants, have become the focus of stark exploitation, working in dangerous conditions," the report added.

It concluded by listing a series of deficiencies that contribute to figures not decreasing. Among them: OSHA resources still being too few to be a deterrent and penalties being too weak.

As for the recommendations, the report suggested "fully enforcing OSHA, MSHA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) job safety and health protections to hold employers accountable for not following workplace safety and health laws;" strengthen their oversight and particularly address the safety issues faced by Latino, Black, immigrant and aging workers.

From Congress it demanded more funding and staffing at job safety agencies, as well as legislation on heat and workplace violence.

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