Texas is on a roll. Not a good roll.
The Lone Star State leads the nation in labor-related accidents and especially workplace deaths and injuries among Hispanics. In 2020, there were 221 reported Latino fatalities in the workplace. But it’s not a huge surprise Texas has led the nation in workplace deaths of Latinos for 13 of the last 20 years.
According to a recent story in The American Prospect, “A Dangerous Place to be Latino,” 5,179 workers died on the job in Texas from 2010 to 2019 – more than in any other state. Two thirds of the deaths in construction jobs in Texas were of Hispanic workers.
This is one of the reasons why The Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) in partnership with Texas Mutual Insurance Company has launched its own yearlong workplace safety awareness campaign for 2022, reaching out to members and industry leaders to promote best practices and try to bring those numbers down. Not just in June, which is National Safety Month, but all year long.
“Workplace injuries are not something we want to be known for in Texas,” said TAMACC Chairman Samuel Guzmán. “There are some steps to take and education to share that can drastically decrease the number of injuries and deaths on the job. It is imperative that we start taking action to mitigate these unnecessary deaths.”
While workplace accidents have decreased or stayed consistent for other ethnic groups, the rate of Hispanics killed or hurt on the job has steadily increased across the nation and are concentrated in the areas of construction – the fastest growing industry in Texas – as well as meat processing, landscaping, farm work and warehousing.
“The number of deaths among Latino workers continues to climb, but there doesn’t seem to be outcry or attempts to stop this horrible trend,” said TAMACC Executive Vice Chair J.R. Gonzáles. “We know that many of these deaths are avoidable. Why does Texas continue lead the nation in Latino workplace deaths? This is a question that everyone should be asking. TAMACC will step up and addressing this issue. These preventable deaths must stop.”
In October, TAMACC, the leading Hispanic business organization in Texas since 1975, will host a Hispanic Policy Summit for business owners and industry leaders — and workplace safety will be a key topic.
TAMACC in partnership with Texas Mutual Insurance Company also offers an online toolbox with tips, infographics, articles, and resources to help businesses create a safer workspace for their employees.