Who is at highest risk of workplace injury?

Milwaukee residents are understandably proud of the cultural diversity that is one of the strengths of our city. But we also understand that much work remains to ensure that everyone has the same rights and opportunities to succeed in America.

A recent study shows that imbalances still exist, putting some groups at greater risk of workplace injuries. “Disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs that raise their risk of injury and disability,” said the study’s lead author.

Which demographic groups are at highest risk of sustaining workplace injuries? The group at greatest risk is Hispanic immigrant men have the highest rate of workplace injuries: 13.7 per 1,000 workers. That group is followed by African American men and then U.S.-born Hispanic men.

In fourth place are white men, followed by Asian Americans, the study published in the February edition of the journal Health Affairs states. Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and Keck School of Medicine conducted the study with researchers from Boston University.

The lead author says that workplace injury rates for Hispanic immigrant men and African American men lead other groups even when differences in education are accounted for.

Unsurprisingly, the higher workplace injury rates are linked to higher risks of disability, especially among workers ages 50 to 64. African American men in that age range have the highest rate of work-related disability (4.4 percent). The second highest rate: immigrant Hispanic men (4.2 percent), followed by Asian Americans (4 percent) and U.S.-born Hispanics at 3.5 percent.

We will continue our look at the study in our next blog post.


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