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New York construction death rates highest among Latinos, immigrants: report

Brooklyn, NY – Latino and immigrant workers are disproportionately killed in falls at construction sites in New York state, according to a new report from the advocacy group Center for Popular Democracy.

Latino and/or immigrant workers make up 34 percent of all construction workers in the state, but that demographic accounted for 60 percent of all fall-related deaths in the industry between 2003 and 2011, according to the group’s review of OSHA investigations conducted after fatal falls at construction sites in the state.

In New York City, the disparity was even greater, with 74 percent of fatal falls being Latino and/or immigrant workers. The boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn experienced even higher percentages. The report suggested construction worker safety could be improved by providing better funding to OSHA, ensuring all construction owners and workers receive proper training, and protecting and enforcing the New York state scaffold law.