In late 2005 Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois gave his support to the findings and recommendations of a Panel on Latino Workplace Injuries and Fatalities. I will be delivering more information in the future about this panel, the first such major state panel on immigrant work safety to my knowledge. It is a model for other states to emulate.
Go here for the 11/9/05 press release.
According to the press release the Panel’s top five recommendations are:
Creating a Worker Safety Fund to support a collaborative partnership and outreach strategy statewide between community-based organizations and government agencies to, among other things, develop worker safety materials in Spanish and provide health and safety training in Spanish.
Streamlining and coordinating government services for workers and business in the state by relocating the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation team to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Strengthening enforcement of the existing Day Labor Services Act, including increased penalties against unlawful day labor agencies, and allowing workers to sue employers for damages.
Developing a statewide data collection system to help centralize and analyze occupational injury and fatality data among Latinos gathered by agencies, community-based organizations, and educational institutions and convene in annual conferences to assess and review data.
Supporting further reforms to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, including 1) establishing a stop-work order when an employer is uninsured; 2) establishing an injured workers’ benefit fund; 3) providing workers’ compensation to agricultural workers; and 4) ensuring adequate workers’ compensation coverage at worksites that use temporary labor.