Background: Hispanic construction employment has dramatically increased, yet published data on occupational risk is lacking.
Methods: Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and current population survey (CPS) were examined from 1992 to 2000. Fatality rate, relative risk (RR), and risk index were calculated using CFOI fatality data and CPS data on hours worked, adjusted to full-time-equivalents (FTE). Data between 1996 and 2000 were combined to allow reliable comparisons of age and occupational groups. RR and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results: In 2000, Hispanics constituted less than 16% of the construction workforce yet suffered 23.5% of fatal injuries. RRs were: helpers, construction trades, 2.31 (95% CI: 1.41-3.80); roofers 1.77 (95% CI: 1.38-2.28); carpenters 1.39 (95% CI: 1.08-1.79); and construction laborers 1.31 (95% CI: 1.17-1.46).
Conclusions: Hispanic construction workers consistently faced higher RRs, for every year from 1992 to 2000 and for every age group. In 2000, Hispanic construction workers were nearly twice (1.84, 95% CI: 1.60-2.10) as likely to be killed by occupational injuries as their non-Hispanic counterparts.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.