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Press Briefing Transcripts

Hispanic Work-Related Death

June 5, 2008, 12:00 p.m. EST

OPERATOR: Good afternoon and thank you all for holding. At this time, your lines have been placed on listen-only until we open up for question-and-answer.  Please be advised today′s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.  I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Bernadette Burden with the CDC Media Office, please go ahead.

BERNADETTE BURDEN: Thank you very much, Laura. Good afternoon everyone. We appreciate you joining us today for the CDC, MMWR telebriefing.

Today we come to discuss with you an MMWR article that will focus on work-related injury death of Hispanic workers.  I have joining with me today by phone Dr. Sherry Baron, the Coordinator of the Occupational Health Disparities Program at CDC′s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, better known as NIOSH.

In addition, for the Q&A portion of our discussion, Mr. Scott Richardson, the Director of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and again, as I said, Scott will be available for our question-and-answer. Now, I′m going to turn it over to Dr. Baron to discuss the content of the article and after that we will have question-and-answer, but again, Sherry, will turn that back to me.  Sherry. 

DR. SHERRY BARON:  OK, thank you.  Good afternoon.  This report provides the results of new statistical analysis of work-related fatalities among Hispanic workers in the United States between 1992 and 2006.  The source of the data was the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries which is run by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is the most complete and comprehensive count available of work related fatalities nationwide.

This analysis draws attention to the high rates of work-related injury deaths in this growing segment of the workforce and helps focus further efforts to prevent these fatalities. 

Between 1992 and 2006 there were a total of 11,303 work-related injury deaths among Hispanic workers, about 13 percent of all work-related injury deaths over the 14-year period.  Rates of work-related injury death among Hispanic workers exceed those of other workers and these disparities in risk are persistent over time. 

In 2006, the rate was 25 percent higher in Hispanics compared to all workers.  Most striking is the especially high rate for foreign-born Hispanic workers.  Foreign-born Hispanic workers had a 70 percent higher rate of work-related injury deaths compared to native born Hispanic workers.  The largest portion of deaths among Hispanic workers occurred in the construction industry representing about a third of all deaths.  Since 1997, the most common causes of death have been highway incidents and falls to a lower level.  Falls have emerged as an increasingly important cause of work-related injury deaths, and was the number one cause in 2006.  The number of falls as a cause of death increased 370 percent between 1992 and 2006. 

Based on available information higher rates of injury deaths among Hispanic workers probably result from a combination of factors.  Clearly, the most important factor is that they are disproportionately working in riskier jobs such as construction.  Other factors include inadequate control of recognized safety hazards, and inadequate training and supervision of workers which his often exacerbated by issues of language and literacy especially for foreign-born Hispanic workers.  Studies of Hispanic workers have also highlighted risk resulting from workers marginal economic status as well as other social and cultural factors such as lack of familiarity with work related safety and health regulations and programs in the United States. 

This data does not include information related to worker′s immigration status and therefore, this was not specifically examined in this analysis.  We are not aware of any systematic studies that have investigated the role of immigration policy on work related fatalities.  However, as with all workers who are in a marginal economic situation, studies have found hat immigration workers may be afraid to speak-up about safety concerns because of fears of retaliation which would contribute to the risk of injury.

Preventing work related injury deaths among Hispanic workers will require concerted efforts by employers, safety and health agencies, researchers, unions, community groups and the workers themselves.  These efforts should be aimed at insuring safe work environments and providing safety education and training of Hispanic workers that is linguistically and culturally appropriate.

NIOSH has initiated several efforts to accomplish this.  In collaboration with our state partners, we have investigated over 200 deaths among Hispanic workers and generated in depth recommendations to prevent similar deaths.  We′re providing additional training materials in Spanish and developing innovative approaches to cultural tailoring messages.  We have also funded several outreach programs that explore grass roots approaches to the development and dissemination of culturally and linguistically appropriate training and intervention programs which target foreign-born workers. 

Thank you.  I′ll take any questions. 

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  At this time, if you would like to ask a question, please press star one on your touch-tone phone.  Once again, if you would like to ask a question, please press star followed by one.  One moment for the first question.  Our first question comes from Will Dunham with Reuters, please go ahead.

WILL DUNHAM, REUTERS:  Hi, this is Will Dunham in the Reuters Washington Bureau.  I′m wondering if you could amplify on the – a point made in the MMWR article and that you kind of just touched on that Hispanic workers, particularly those who are foreign-born might be more willing to perform jobs or job tasks that are riskier or more hesitant to refuse such tasks for fear of losing jobs?

BARON:  Well, I touched on that.  I think, you know, something that we find for not just foreign-born workers, but all workers who are in a marginal economic situation, obviously, their highest concern is keeping their job and keeping their flow of income.  And that may, in fact, result in fears about speaking up about safety hazards or having safety taking a sort of second level priority because of their concern about keeping their jobs.  And I want to emphasize, this is something not just for foreign-born workers but all workers who are in a more marginal economic situation.

DUNHAM:  Can I just also ask during the period that the report covers ′92 to 2006, during that period did Hispanic men become a increasingly larger portion of the construction sector?

BARON:  The number of Hispanic workers has continually increased and Hispanic workers are concentrated in construction.  I don′t know, Scott from BLS, he may be able to give you more specific numbers about the trends.

SCOTT RICHARDSON:  I don′t have specific numbers about construction, in particular, but I can certainly find out.

DUNHAM:  What I′m getting at, basically, is is it safe to say that Hispanic workers are becoming an increasing portion of U.S. construction workers.  I believe that that′s correct.

RICHARDSON:  I believe it is too.  Obviously, there was some information that came out yesterday.  I saw an article about how unemployment is affecting foreign-born workers because of the housing slow down.  So, in general, that statement sounds right to me, but recently that may have changed.

DUNHAM:  OK.  Thank you.

RICHARDSON:  I′d also just point out that if you look at just demographic trends in 1980, only three percent of the U.S. population was Hispanic and in 2005 nearly 15 percent were Hispanic.  So that′s – it′s been quite a growth driven primarily by immigration in the Hispanic population in the United States.

BURDEN:  Laura, can we have our next question, please?

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Thalia Longoria, Al Dia, please go ahead.

THALIA LONGORIA, AL DIA:  I was wondering if you guys had any breakdowns of state information and particularly, Texas?  Like how does Texas fair in injuries and related to other states?

BARON:  Yes.  Actually, there′s a table in the MMWR article that breaks down by states.  And so Texas because it has such a larger Hispanic population obviously is one of the states with the highest number of states.  However, it doesn′t have the highest rate.  So I can give you some numbers.  There′s a total – of the total of deaths 687 occurred in the state of Texas.  But the rate there was 4.8 which is just a little bit below the overall total. 

LONGORIA:  I also have – if the injuries are not fatal, do you know how many of them are debilitating like permanently?

BARON:  That′s a more difficult answer – question to answer because the BLS statistics have two programs one for fatal injuries, and the other for all injuries.  In the program that′s for all injuries the field related to race and ethnicity is a voluntary field.  And therefore, about a third of the records are missing that information.  So it becomes a little difficult.  I don′t know, Scott, if you want to make any comments about what we can interpret from that data given those limitations?

RICHARDSON:  Certainly, nothing on a state level.  I think you phrased it perfectly.  It′s something that′s voluntary.  I think we′re even surprised we get as many answers as we do, but nothing that would translate into state based estimates or numbers.

LONGORIA:  What is the state with the highest level of deaths?

BARON:  The state with the highest rate is South Carolina and their rate is 22.8.  And, again, I think, you know, that has to be interpreted, you know, understanding the different populations.  And so some states like South Carolina, that doesn′t have a long history of Hispanic population the migration into the state may be targeted jobs in certain high risk industries like construction.  As compared to Texas which has a long history of Hispanic population.  And the Hispanic population is employed in a wide variety of jobs there.

LONGORIA:  Thank you very much.

BURDEN:  All right.  Thank you.  Can we have our next question, Laura?

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Mike Stobbe, Associated Press, please go ahead.

MIKE STOBBE, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Hi, thanks for taking the call.  Three quick questions, first in the report, you all used the word – the term highway incidents, could you define that?  Does that include like falling from a construction site, a highway overpass or is that all traffic? 

The second question was, I saw that murder was the number one cause of workplace fatality in the mid-‘90s, that was surprising.  Could you explain a little bit what was going on there and how unusual it was?

And then last, if you could just give a comment putting this report into context with the other literature, does this just echo things that have been reported, or what′s really new here?

BARON:  OK.  A couple of things.  First of all highway incidents include both motor vehicle related accidents as well as people working on a roadway and being hit by a vehicle.  Falling at a construction site would be considered a fall.  So that′s question number one.

In terms of homicides in the early part of our data homicides were the number one – was the number one cause of death.  The homicides are related to individuals working in convenient stores and other kinds of locations where there may be robberies and other kinds of violence in their jobs.  We′ve seen overall a decrease in homicides and violence in the workplace.  And there′s a number of factors that may contribute to that.  There′s certainly been a large outreach in terms of improving security within convenience stores and other similar kinds of workplaces.  And hopefully, those kinds of changes are reflected in the decrease in the rates of homicides not just for Hispanics but for workers, in general. 

And, I′m sorry, could you remind me of the third question?

STOBBE:  Just, have other studies previously reported this?  Or what does this add to the literature?

BARON:  Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you know, releases its data on a yearly basis by looking over this period of time, we want to reemphasize the rates in Hispanics and foreign-born Hispanics and to reemphasize that the disparity exists and is persistent and therefore try and highlight the crucial need for interventions targeting that population.

RICHARDSON:  I′d probably add that, I think, some of the presentation of state data is relatively new.  I haven′t seen a great deal of that.  I know we haven′t done much of it.

STOBBE:  Thank you.

BURDEN:  All right, thanks very much.  Laura, our next question.

OPERATOR:  Thank you. Our next question comes from Federica Nurancia, McClatchy News Service, please go ahead.

FEDERICA NARANCIO, MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE:  Yes, hello, Sherry.  I wanted to ask you if you could review, again, you said in 2006, there was a 25 percent increase in the rate of work related injury deaths in Hispanic compared to all workers. 

I wanted to ask you if from 2003 to 2006 you have seen the rate increase for the work related injury deaths for all Hispanics?  And if you could also break it down into foreign-born Hispanics.  Because the report highlights from 1992 to 2006, the rate has generally decreased.  But I wanted to see – ask if you have seen some changes from 2003 to 2006. 

BARON:  Do you want to take that one, Scott?

RICHARDSON:  Yes, sure.  I could give you the individual annual rates for Hispanics from 2003 through 2006 which I have in front of me.  You all ready have 2006 from the article.  So the – in 2003 the fatality rate per 100,000 workers for Hispanics was 4.5.  In 2004, it was 5.0.  In ′05 it was 4.9. 

And, you know, from the article that this year it was 5.0.  So there has been some increase but it′s been relatively flat for the last three years.  There′s no – from a statistical perspective, there is no significant change here for the last three years.

NARANCIO:  OK.  So the general trend is that work related death injuries have been decreasing since 1992. 

RICHARDSON:  I think the number has been increasing but it doesn′t necessarily mean that the rate has been increasing.  And, I think, that′s more a function of employment, the number of Hispanic workers in the workforce.

NARANCIO:  Can you explain that a little bit more?  In 2006, there was a peak in the number of workers that died, but that has to do with a increase in the population?

RICHARDSON:  Well, I mean the rate – the fatality rate which sort of measures risk for workers was basically unchanged from the year before.  So even though we had a large increase in the numbers of Hispanic deaths in that year, because of the increase in employment it doesn′t register as a – necessarily as a larger increase in the risk for Hispanic workers.

So it went from 923 in 2005 to 990 in 2006 but from a statistical perspective, the fatality rate was unchanged.

BARON:  Right.  And I just want to reemphasize that work-related fatalities are going down for the workforce, in general, which is a good thing.  But we also look at disparities in rates between different populations.  And what we′re seeing is that although generally rates are going down the disparity between Hispanic and non-Hispanic is persistent and not going away.  And that that′s an important finding in terms of targeting intervention efforts towards populations that seem to have a more disparate risk.

NARANCIO:  You say that the disparity between Hispanics and non-Hispanics is persistent.  And have you noticed if the disparity between U.S. born Hispanics and foreign-born Hispanics is growing also?

BARON:  Do you want to take that one, Scott?

RICHARDSON:  Sure.  Yes, if you look at them independently, that is foreign-born Hispanics – fatal occupational injuries involved in foreign-born Hispanics and fatal occupational injuries involving native born Hispanics, we do see increases primarily in – among the foreign-born Hispanics.  Basically, 2003, there were 519 recorded fatalities among foreign-born Hispanic workers and in 2006 that was 667. 

Among native born, there′s a similar increase but it′s not necessarily consistent.  The 2003 number for native born Hispanics was 275.  In 2006 it was 323.  But …

NARANCIO:  Can you say that, again, sorry, the one for 2006 for foreign-born? 

RICHARDSON:  The native born is 323, native born Hispanic fatalities.  And the foreign-born was 667.  In 2003 it was 275 native born, 519 foreign born. 

NARANCIO:  OK.  Let me see if I have anything else.  So the general trend is that workplace fatality is going down but can you say that for foreign-born Hispanics it has slightly increased?

RICHARDSON:  It′s been increasing each year since 2003.

NARANCIO:  The number or the rate?

RICHARDSON:  The number.

NARANCIO:  Since 2003.

RICHARDSON:  Five-nineteen – 2004 was 596.  2005 was 638.  2006 was 667. 

NARANCIO:  OK.  That′s it.  Thank you.

BURDEN:  All right.  Thank you.  Next question, Laura.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Yurina Rico, La Opinion Newspaper, please go ahead.

YURINA RICO, LA OPINION NEWSPAPER:  Yes.  Hi.  My question is regarding gender.  Do you have any statistics on gender?  Is this only men?

BARON:  Ninety-five percent of the deaths in Hispanics were males.  And, you know, that reflects the kinds of occupations where fatalities occur which tend to be male dominated occupations like construction, agriculture, et cetera.  So, you know, this is predominantly a male phenomenon. 

RICO:  And just another question, can you do the breakdown in California, please?

BARON:  Yes.  California, as with Texas, obviously has a very large number, 773 of the deaths but the rate was not elevated 3.7.  Then, again, like Texas, you know, that′s a function of California having a more historic Hispanic population and therefore more diversity to the types of jobs that people are employed in.

RICO:  So to – I′m sorry 773 deaths a year? 

BARON:  This is in …

RICHARDSON:  ′03 to ′06. 

BARON:  Yes, this is 2003 to 2006. 

RICO:  OK.  Thank you.

BURDEN:  Next question, Laura.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from John Reichard Congressional Quarterly, please go ahead.

JOHN REICHARD, CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY:  Yes, thank you.  You mentioned a crucial need for intervention is there an issue of employers not enforcing workplace safety standards here?

BARON:  Well, this data doesn′t specifically look at that question.  But one of the clear reasons for high risk jobs is because potentially there′s unsafe working conditions there.  And we do the – NIOSH, as I explained, has a program where we do follow-up evaluations of targeted Hispanic deaths.  And, you know, we do in depth evaluations where we go in and talk to people in the workplace.  And certainly finding violations in terms of existing safety standards is on of the clear findings in many of those deaths.

REICHARD:  So what – how do you follow up on those findings, exactly?

BARON:  Well, we go to the work site.  We interview people and then we make – do a report and make recommendations for prevention.  We are not – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a separate agency that has enforcement power.  They have a separate system by which they follow up on work-related fatalities and, you know, there may be some enforcement fining, penalties, et cetera, that come as a result of that but that′s a separate agency from us.

REICHARD:  But when you do your investigation, do you ask whether, you know, there is non-compliance with OSHA standards?

BARON:  Well, that′s one of the things we look at is the work conditions.

REICHARD:  So the answer is yes on that?

BARON:  Well, that would be one of the evaluations.  And so, you know, specifically we′re looking for hazardous conditions where they occurred and some of those may be violations of existing standards.  Sometimes we find hazardous conditions that aren′t necessarily covered by a standard, but, you know, we feel that they are hazardous.

REICHARD:  So that – let′s say there′s a finding of a violation of an OSHA standard, what do you do then?  Do you say to the employer, that you need to enforce the standard?

BARON:  Well, again, we are not – we are a separate agency from OSHA, so we do not have the authority to make any kind of enforcement of fines or penalties.

REICHARD:  But you point it out.

BARON:  Well, our reports are public documents and they′re shared widely with people and are widely available. 

REICHARD:  That – you're not really answering my question.  Are you pointing it out directly to the employers that you′re investigating? 

BARON:  Yes.

REICHARD:  OK.  And can you talk a little bit more about other crucial interventions that would be helpful here?

BARON:  Well, there′s a number of interventions.  One of the things our agency has been doing is funding a series of projects under a broad category we call environmental justice grants.  And these are grants where we fund people within the communities, community groups along with universities to try and develop innovative outreach programs that, you know, try and better understand by talking to the local community what′s going on and what some of the factors may be.  And developing training programs and other kinds of intervention programs often working with small employers to try and develop better conditions and distribute information.

So that′s something we′ve been doing over the last five years.  We′ve really targeted immigrant workers as the population to try and prevent, not only, fatalities but also other kinds of work related injuries.

REICHARD:  So just one other question, what – when you do that, I mean what success have you had?  I mean can you point to examples of successful programs?  And is this what – how they worked?

BARON:  Well, for instance, one program since we′re talking about construction, there′s a program that we funded through the San Francisco Health Department.  And what they′ve done in that program is partner with day labor organizations and do outreach to the community, develop training programs for the workers, and try and work with employers and others to develop better training programs and interventions.

And I could give you a Web site that you could, you know, look that up.  They have some materials on there.

REICHARD:  OK.

BARON:  Do you want me to give you that right now? 

REICHARD:  Well, whatever.

BARON:  I don′t know if there′s a follow-up or something.  But we actually have a sheet we developed with the various environmental justice projects and contact information, if you want to follow up with individual programs to see what kinds of things they′re doing.

REICHARD:  OK.

BURDEN:  We can get that to you.  I′ll give out a follow-up call in number and Dr. Baron can provide that and we can get that to you through the press office.

REICHARD:  All right, thank you.

BURDEN:  Next question, Laura.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Katherine Torres, Occupational Hazards Magazine, please go ahead. 

KATHERINE TORRES, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS:  Hello.  My question is as far as a follow-up to a question that was previously given, so when you′re comparing the native-born Hispanic workers with native-born non-Hispanic workers, would you say that there is still a considerable disparity there?

BARON:  Do you want to answer that, Scott?

RICHARDSON:  Sure.  I think this is one of the more interesting aspects of the study, actually.  The all worker rate is 4.0 for 2006.  That native-born Hispanic fatality rate was actually a little lower than that, 3.5.  But the foreign-born fatality rate was 50 percent higher at 5.9.

So the risk is being – the burden of risk is primarily on foreign-born Hispanics workers.  Is that –

TORRES:  Well, I just wanted to now where native-born Hispanic workers fall into this?  Are they also at higher – at more – at a higher risk than, you know, your average native non-Hispanic worker. 

RICHARDSON:  OK.  Yes, then, I think, I did get to that then by pointing out that the native-born Hispanic rate is (INAUDIBLE). 

TORRES:  OK.  And then in one statistic you gave out did you – did I hear you correctly that you said falls among Hispanic workers had increased 373 percent?

RICHARDSON:  I don′t think that′s the right percentage.  Sherry, do you have it handy? 

BARON:  I′m sorry.  What did the –

RICHARDSON:  It′s the percentage increase of falls.

TORRES:  Of falls.

BARON:  Was 370 percent.

TORRES:  Three seventy percent, OK.  Now, does this constitute just for the construction industry? Or do you also have – or did you also incorporate slips, trips and other types of falls in their in other industries?

RICHARDSON:  It′s all falls.  It′s not specific to construction.  It′s all falls in any industry.

TORRES:  OK.  But it′s highest among construction?

RICHARDSON:  Yes.

TORRES:  OK.  Is there a second highest?  Or are they – do they all even – are they all even there?

RICHARDSON:  I don′t have them ranked.  Maybe – Sherry, do you recall if we put that in? 

BARON:  The slip, trips, and falls?

RICHARDSON:  No, just the rankings of – by event?

BARON:  Well, in the latest data, the number one cause is falls to lower levels.  The second highest is highway incidents.  The third highest is struck by an object.  And the fourth highest is homicide. 

TORRES:  OK.  And I also wanted to know, you know, you talked briefly about NIOSH′s efforts in ensuring safe working environments for Hispanic workers.  I just wanted to know how effective employers have been to these efforts and which type of group reaches out to you?  Is it the workers themselves, or is it the employers?  Or is it both, essentially?

BARON:  Well, I think, the groups most reaching out to us are community organizations and labor unions who employ Hispanic workers.  Those, you know, groups exist to develop either advocacy or training to other kind of assistance and are very aware of this as an issue. 

And, you know, the employer response is variable depending upon the industry, the location, and, you know, some employers recognize that the deaths are – and injuries in general are costly to them both in terms of the health of their workers, and also just issues of general productivity and very interested in addressing these.

Other employers are less receptive and, you know, don′t quite recognize the importance.  But, you know, that′s part of our outreach is to try and educate employers about the importance of this and hwy dissemination efforts are like this are important to raise the level of understanding amongst employers and others about this important issue.

TORRES:  OK, and my last question is and someone else asked it and I missed it because I got cut off very briefly, but someone had asked you about how this study adds to the literature that′s all ready available and I didn′t catch your answer.  If you could just give me a quick recap of what you said.

BARON:  Well, I think, you know, rates are reported on annual basis by BLS.  But looking at this data over time and showing the persistence of the disparity over time really highlights the importance of this for targeting intervention efforts. 

TORRES:  Thank you. 

RICHARDSON:  I might add to that that some of the state rate data is somewhat new.  I think I mentioned that the last time.  And also, I think this is – it′s been a while since a study of this kind has been done.  So if it doesn′t blaze new ground it certainly provides new data on something that hasn′t been studied in this way in a while.

BURDEN:  All right.  Thank you.  Next question, Laura.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Noelle Phillips, The State, please go ahead.

NOELLE PHILLIPS, THE STATE:  Hi, I wanted to talk a little bit about South Carolina′s highest rate.  You mentioned earlier – elaborate on why you think South Carolina was the highest rate?

BARON:  Well, you know, we can just speculate here.  But the rates in a state have a lot to do with who the Hispanic population is within that state and where they′re working.  And so in states that have new immigrant populations generally people are moving into the state for jobs that are available there and jobs such as construction are exactly the types of jobs that people are moving into states to work in.  And so South Carolina, I think, would fall within, you know, that general description of a new immigrant population, workers coming in for specific jobs.  And those jobs may be at higher risk than the general population.

PHILLIPS:  So the (INAUDIBLE) on the chart with foreign born percentages 88 percent in South Carolina, so that means that South Carolina′s immigrant population is new coming.

BARON:  Exactly.

PHILLIPS:  They′re not necessarily moving from California and Texas.  They′re moving from Mexico or Guatemala. 

BARON:  Right.  And you can see that construction was 63 percent of the injuries.  And so, you know, again, we can just speculate about what′s going on there.  But, you know, I think a reasonable explanation is new immigrants moving in to work in the construction industry at a greater rate than people occupying other kinds of jobs that may be lower risk.

PHILLIPS:  OK.  And what about employers having experience dealing with Hispanic workers and fewer people who speak Spanish?  And was that – has anybody looked into that, and could that be a problem?

BARON:  Well, that′s a very good point.  And the issues of language literacy, culture, communication developing training programs that really communicate the hazards and protections are obviously more challenging in a place like South Carolina compared to Texas and California where there′s a large and long-standing Hispanic population. 

PHILLIPS:  OK. 

BARON:  And that′s, you know, what some of our environmental justice programs are aimed at doing.  For instance, we don′t have one in South Carolina, but we do have one in North Carolina.  And, you know, it′s very important to develop new outreach and training programs in those kinds of communities where this is a new phenomenon.

PHILLIPS:  OK.  That was it, thank you.

BURDEN:  Thank you.  Laura, next question, please. 

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question comes from Fabiola Moura, Bloomberg News, please go ahead.

FABIOLA MOURA, BLOOMBERG NEWS:  Hi.  I would like to know the total of American workers in general that died in work-related accidents in 2006.

BARON:  Are you talking about native-born workers in general?

MOURA:  Yes, to have a comparison between the Hispanic workers that are either born in the U.S. or foreigners with the total of workers.  Do you have a number of – for the total?

RICHARDSON:  I′m sorry, you mean the total number of fatalities for all Americans work-related fatalities?

MOURA:  Yes.

RICHARDSON:  Yes, it was 5,840 in 2006.

MOURA:  OK.  Thank you.

BURDEN:  All right, do we have any additional questions, Laura?

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our final question is a follow-up from Mike Stobbe, Associated Press.

STOBBE:  Thanks.  Yes, it was a follow-up.  The 370 percent increase in falls in Hispanics, was that paralleled in other racial groups?  Were fall deaths also up in the whites and blacks? And also regarding whites and blacks was it a general rate decrease – the work related injury death decrease for whites and blacks, I see, overall it was kind of trending down in that figure one.  But for both whites and blacks, is it decreasing?  Or was there a more nuanced story for one of the particular races?

BARON:  OK.  Falls, in general are going up.  Actually, I′m going to let Scott answer all of these questions.  Go ahead.

RICHARDSON:  I think the trend among Hispanics mirrors that for all workers.  Now, I haven′t broken it out by each racial ethnic group to see how that all compares, but it is not dissimilar to the trend we′re seeing, lower homicides, higher falls, that sort of thing.

But, I think, the types of fatalities, the types of events that led to traumatic workplace deaths among this population are different in terms of the proportion at which they occur.  In other words, for all workers, highway incidents are going to be at the top.  For Hispanic workers its falls.  And there are some differences in terms of proportions but the trends are similar between the two.

STOBBE:  OK.  And how about that second one?  Is it a general trend down for blacks, general trend down for whites?  Is everyone trending down?  Or was there a more nuanced picture for one of those races?

RICHARDSON:  If you want to – on our Web site, we have the rates for all of these groups available by year and you can see the count and the employment total and the rate for each year from 2003 through 2006.  It might be best for you to do that, and I think, CDC has the link.  I have the link, however, it works, we can get that to you if you want to just get the actual numbers and look at the trends.

STOBBE:  That would be great.  Thank you.

BURDEN:  All right.  Laura, that was the final question?

OPERATOR:  We actual did receive one more question, Thalia Longoria Al Dia, please go ahead. 

LONGORIA:  Yes, well I guess I just wanted to make sure I get the link because the number that you gave me 687 deaths in Texas was that in 2006 alone?

BARON:  No that was from 2003 to 2006.

LONGORIA:  OK. 

BARON:  Did you get the MMWR? 

LONGORIA:  No, I have not.

BARON:  OK.  There′s a table in there and it – you can see all of the numbers but it gives the number of deaths from 2003 and 2006, the rate, the percent that were foreign-born, the most common cause with the percent and the most common industry with the percent.

LONGORIA:  And how can I get that, the MMRW?

BURDEN:  It is posted on our Web site at cdc.gov.  If you go to the MMWR link, it is available and we can also send it to you as well. 

If there are no other questions, Laura.

OPERATOR:  We have no further questions.

BURDEN:  All right.  We′d like to thank you for your time and attention this afternoon.  If you do have follow-up questions for either Dr. Baron or Scott Richardson, please contact us through the CDC press office phone number which is 404-639-3286 and we will assist with getting information for follow-up.  Again, thank you this afternoon for your time and interest.  And this will conclude our call.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  And this does conclude today′s conference call.  We thank you for your participation.

END

####

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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