A report recently issued by Worksafe, a California advocacy group, found that California Hispanic workers are more than 50% more likely to die at work than non-Hispanic workers.
According to the report—Dying at Work in California—in 2007, Latinos suffered 39% of the state’s workplace fatalities. By 2009, the number had risen to 42%.
The report recommends changes to the statesystem. It urges the state to designate the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) as a public safety agency, making its enforcement program exempt from budget cuts. The report said such an exemption would allow Cal/OSHA to hire more bilingual inspectors, fully staff legal and medical units and its the inspector-to-worker ratio.
In addition, the report recommends improvements to the “broken” whistle-blower protection system and the process for setting permissible exposure limits.