« November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

December 17, 2013

Most of construction fall fatalities in New York are foreign-born workers

The Center for Popular Democracy reports that:

Our review of 2003-2011 OSHA investigations of construction site accidents involving a fatal fall from an elevation revealed that Latinos and immigrants are disproportionately killed in fall accidents.

In 60% of the OSHA-investigated fall from an elevation fatalities in New York State, the worker was Latino and/or immigrant, disproportionately high for their participation in construction work.

In New York City, 74% of fatal falls were Latino and/or immigrant.

Narrowing further, 88% of fatal falls in Queens and 87% in Brooklyn involved Latinos and/or immigrants.

86% of Latino and/or immigrant fatalities from a fall from an elevation in New York were working for a non-union employer.

In 2011 focus groups, Latino construction workers reported fearing retaliation as a key deterrent to raising concerns about safety.

Its report, Fatal Inequality: Workplace Safety Eludes Construction Workers of Color, is available on its website.

December 5, 2013

A free guide to immigrant worker safety and health

With generous support from Concentra and Broadspire, I authored Work Safe: An Employer’s Guide to Safety and Health in a Diversified Workforce. This first of its kind guide is a very accessible source of practical advice on special techniques in worker safety training, medical treatment issues, hiring and using interpreters and other topics. It includes an extensive guide to free online resources on occupational safety organized by key occupations of foreign-born workers.

The Guide includes simple, brief introductions to workers compensation and to work safety regulation in the U.S., in English and Spanish. They can be translated into other languages.

The Guide grants the reader wide discretion on copying and using portions of the guide.

December 4, 2013

Lazarus - like resurrection of immigration reform?

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post noted yesterday that House Speaker Boehner has hired Rebecca Tallent, a seasoned advisor to Republicans on immigration reform. The hire signals a possible decision by Congressional Republicans to push immigration reform – defying report that reform was dead going into 2014.

Tallent came from The Bipartisan Policy Center, where she was director of immigration policy and coordinated the publication of several pro-reform reports, such as this one on the economic benefits of immigration reform.

Rubin writes:

Although it is an election year, 2014 may afford a better opportunity than previously imagined for accomplishing something on the immigration front. The Dems and White House are more desperate than ever for some achievement, and their fear the Senate may flip in Nov. 2014 should encourage some flexibility. Meanwhile, the House right wing is not the force it was before the shutdown, while the speaker’s popularity has grown among his troops.

A final factor may play a role in pushing immigration reform to the fore. Center-right business leaders and groups, who mostly favor comprehensive immigration reform as an economic boost, are plainly alarmed about the 2014 election and have entered the fray both to unseat hard-line gadflies like Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and bolster mainstream Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). That gives reform-minded lawmakers some confidence they will get cover in 2014 if they take some political heat for backing immigration reform. It also may persuade GOP skeptics to take another look at the polls, which generally show immigration reform including an earned path to citizenship to be popular, even among Republicans.