U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao on Thursday told participants at the first-ever Hispanic Safety and Health Summit in Orlando that the Bush Administration is committed to further driving down workplace fatalities among Hispanics, which in 2002 dropped for the first time in seven years.
“Since 2002, there has been a consistent decrease in all workplace fatalities. I am proud of the fact that for the first time in seven years, workplace fatalities among Hispanic workers declined in 2002,” Chao said.
The Hispanic Safety and Health Summit brought together representatives from government, community and faith-based organizations, non-profits, industry, academia and organized labor to share practical safety and health information and success stories and discuss gaps in communication, training and outreach for Hispanic workers in the United States.
“This summit demonstrates the commitment of this Administration and the Department of Labor to protecting the health and safety of our nation’s diverse Hispanic workforce,” Chao said.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Hispanic Alliance hosted the Hispanic Safety and Health Summit for Progress – the first of its kind for the department – in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The 17.5 million Hispanic workers in the U.S. play vital roles in virtually every American industry. Workplace fatalities for all workers are at historic lows, decreasing by more than half in the past 30 years.
However, 15 percent of the workers who died in 2002 were Hispanic, even though Hispanics comprise less than 13 percent of the workforce. Hispanic workers also are reportedly more likely than the general population to be injured or become ill on the job.
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