Report examines safety risks for undocumented construction workers

Austin, TX – Undocumented construction workers often lack training and fear retaliation for raising safety concerns, concludes a new report (.pdf file) from the Workers Defense Project, a group that advocates fair employment for low-income workers.

The report is based on a survey of 1,194 Texas construction workers conducted between May and July 2012. The data also served as the basis for a January report from WDP highlighting construction dangers in Texas.

Half of the surveyed workers reported being undocumented, which the report claims makes them more likely than U.S.-born workers to be injured or die on the job. More than 70 percent of the undocumented workers had not received safety training and were twice as likely to face threats from their employer for reporting unsafe workplace conditions, according to the report.

Among the report's recommendations is a call for reforming immigration policy to provide a pathway to citizenship so the construction industry can keep its current workers.

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