Hispanic workers have high workplace fatality rate in the US due to the type of work environments they serve. A lot of Hispanic, work in demanding industries, from construction, to factories; and for the women they participate in laboring vocations as well, which include domestic work and factory work. As a result, these industries come with physical stress, emotional stress and mental stress, which can all fatal to the worker. In addition, they have the societal worries of immigration, thus exacerbating the physical stress on their jobs, which unfortunately make for a fatal combination.
I think the workplace fatality rate increases with age, due to the physical and mental deficiencies of the worker. An elderly construction worker, electrician, hunter, farmer, etcetera is more likely to face slips and falls, and have forgetful moments while on the job. These minor moments; however, can be fatal, and if alone when a workplace injury occurs, that senior laborers could be left stranded for days until someone comes to find them, and sadly by then it can be too late to save their life.
The coroner/ medical examiner’s autopsy reports can be a source of workplace fatality data, as it very unlikely for it to be corrupted, or underreporting in any capacity. As the coroner must get permission to perform an autopsy, thus there is a legal paper trail, and the findings will be detailed and unbiased, and simply show the cause of death of the victim. As a result, if someone dies at work, and the fatality is reported and goes through proper channels, there will be a hospital and ME record of the death, and family will want to know cause of death, from personal to legal purposes and the data will be sound, and reliable.
The SOII may under-report injuries, as the data is estimation on the number and frequency (incidence rates) of workplace injuries and illnesses; data derived from recordkeeping logs kept by employers during the year (Survey of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses, 2010). Thus if employers want to appear in the best light of OSHA, they will not note when a fatality occurred on the job, as that will mar their professional and public image. And since there is no incentive in telling the truth with respect to their fatality recordkeeping logs, its likely underreporting of injuries will occur, and thereby continue to taint the SOII.
If using hospital discharge data as a surveillance tool, one may miss key work-related cases, which include; dermatitis and musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries are related to workers’ compensation systems, and those are the simple health events that are not noted in hospital discharge data; whereas complex diseases of long latency are observed in hospital discharge data (“Occupational Disease Surveillance and Reporting Systems,” 2011). In all, use of such data leads to a lopsided picture of the true incidence and distribution of occupational diseases.