—Interestingly, the day after I submitted the previous post, The Associated Press ran a story about high death rates among Hispanic workers. The full text can be found here: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jdpxinePZgOwybkhwlComPxQ0o6AD9142EEG0 and the details of a study referenced in the story is here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5722a1.htm
Long story short, the story attributes language and literacy barriers as partial contributors to this.
“Many of the Hispanic workers in construction are undocumented, and many of those who are recently arrived do face a language barrier,” said Rakesh Kochhar, associated director for research at the Pew Hispanic Center.
“A language barrier hinders understanding of a job, or the risks associated with it, or safety precautions,” said Kochhar, who was not part of the new study. — The Associated Press, June 5, 2008
Also, because of the nature of their condition, i.e.: lack of formal education, financial need, most of these folks work tough, physical jobs that are demanding on the body and often risky. The other noteworthy point of the article was that South Carolina boasted (probably not the right word) the highest death rate among Hispanic workers in the country at 23 out of 100,000 laborers. The article attributes a recent influx of Hispanic workers into the area as inflating the numbers to that degree.
Here’s some graphics to that end: