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Work-related injuries possible risk to North Carolina immigrants

Many factories across the nation now employ Latino immigrants. North Carolina might be among those states that have reported a rise in work-related injuries among immigrant workers. A recent federal report indicated that among job injuries in 2013, an exorbitant amount of those injured were Latino workers.

Data provided suggests that 3.8 per 100,000 Latino employees, many of whom are immigrants, die each year in workplace accidents. Some claim that many immigrants are fearful of speaking up against hazardous working conditions. It has been stated that these workers are afraid to lose their jobs and/or be deported.

Employee advocates have said that government regulations need to be strengthened. According to the advocates, part of the problem is that employers are not providing workers with adequate training for jobs that are considered dangerous. One Florida factory that employs mostly immigrant workers is currently under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration due to one worker being killed and two others gravely injured in accidents involving the same machine. The OSHA representative stated that immigrant workers are at risk because they are often given the most dangerous jobs.

In several other states, workers have testified that they were never trained for the jobs in which they have suffered injuries, nor has any corrective action been implemented when accidents have been reported to employers. North Carolina workers who have suffered work-related injuries may have need of legal advice, especially that which pertains to immigration laws and workers' compensation benefits. Contacting a professional with experience in these fields would be a prudent first step in the process of addressing the issue.

Source: reflejos.com, "Latino workers dying at higher rates in job accidents, report shows", Feb. 15, 2015

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