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Part II: Who is at highest risk of workplace injury?

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know that our most recent post was about a new study of workplace injury and disability conducted by researchers at the University of California and Boston University.

According to researchers, Hispanic immigrant men and African American men have the highest rates of workplace injuries. The study's lead author said, "disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs that raise their risk of injury and disability."

The study does not identify the causes of the disparities, but it does point to past research that showed that discrimination is a factor in worker safety.

"Historically, ethnic minorities have faced some of the worst job conditions," said the new study's lead author. He said the U.S. has improved workplace safety in recent years, but that racial and ethnic disparities persist. "Minority workers (still) experience worse health."

Researchers said several factors might contribute to the lingering disparities, including a bias that results in minority workers being assigned to riskier tasks, as well as bias in hirings and promotions.

As diversity continues its growth in coming years, "care needs to be taken to ensure that efforts to make workplaces safer do not at the same time reduce economic opportunities for vulnerable populations," the researchers wrote.

The experienced employment law attorneys at the Milwaukee law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. will help you fight workplace discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability and more. Contact us for more information about how we can help protect your rights and job.

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