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Workplace safety for migrant workers called into question

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2013 | Workplace Safety |

Many of the people in the Denver area may believe that their workplaces are relatively safe and that they have been properly warned or trained to avoid any risk. And for many people in Denver that is true, but it also appears that migrant workers and temporary foreign workers are exposed to much more serious dangers, some of which are fatal.

The problem, it seems, is quite complex. Part of the problem is that many immigrants are afraid to report dangerous workplace conditions, fearing retribution. For those employees who are not in the country legally, this could mean that they could be deported from the country and potentially forced to leave their families behind. In addition, when the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration does step in, it is limited in what it can do on behalf of workers.

One of the most horrific stories of late was that of the death of a factory worker originally from Mexico. He had been working at a factory without receiving any training or safety equipment when he was burned on over 80 percent of his body with a mixture of boiling water and acid. Tragically, the atrocious workplace accident did not end there; he was left for 40 minutes before he was taken to a clinic and then to the hospital. Sadly, he died three days later.

One of the best ways to improve workers’ safety, say individuals fighting for reform, is to make the matter important to the public. Many people fail to recognize that many of the same risks that immigrant workers face are the same ones that low-paid American-born workers face. Trying to improve workplace conditions and safety in general would go a long way to reducing migrant workers’ deaths.

Source: The Raw Story, “Temporary and migrant workers face ‘systemic’ problem of workplace dangers,” David Ferguson, March 28, 2013

If you would like to find out more about risks migrant workers face, please see the source above. If you want to learn about how our law firm has worked with family members who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents, however, please visit our Colorado dependency and death benefits website.


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