New Hampshire releases report on immigrant worker safety

March 13, 2013

Concord, NH – Many immigrants in New Hampshire may lack awareness of workers’ compensation, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The report comes at a time when New Hampshire is experiencing an influx of racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities. Responses were taken from 366 immigrants – mainly from Asia, Dominican Republic/Haiti/Cuba, Africa, and South and Central America – participating in safety training for non-English speakers provided by the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.

A total of 227 – 62 percent – said they did not know their medical bills for a job-related injury would be paid by workers’ comp. Of the 299 respondents who had worked in the United States, 10 percent had been injured at work. Most told their supervisor, and the ones who did not gave reasons such as believing the injury was not serious and fear of being fired.

Overall, the majority of respondents rated their supervisor positively. For example, 71.8 percent said their supervisor addresses safety problems.

Recommendations given in the report include providing immigrants with more information on workers’ comp and injury reporting.