Group Wants Action to Prevent N.C. Farmworker Deaths

November 3, 2011

A farmworker advocacy group is calling on North Carolina officials to be more consistent in inspections and penalties for operations that violate safety laws.

The Farmworker Advocacy Network highlighted its concerns by hosting an event Tuesday based around the Day of the Dead. The holiday is celebrated in Mexico and elsewhere and is a time to remember loved ones who have died. Advocates say about 75 percent of migrant and seasonal workers in North Carolina are of Mexican descent.

Emily Drakage with the Children in the Fields project says the most common causes of serious injury and death for farmworkers are heat stroke and machinery malfunction.

The group says there have been at least two farmworker deaths in the state this year, and eight since 2005.

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