Immigrant Workers and Occupational Injury and Disability

Liza Fuentes, CUNY School of Public Health

The proportion of U.S. workers that are foreign-born has increased in recent decades and the impact on occupational health and safety is largely unstudied. As a result, it is not known whether and how the increase in the proportion of immigrants among U.S. workers will affect claims to Social Security Disability and Worker’s Compensation. In order to begin to assess how the immigrant workers may affect worker population health and disability program utilization, this paper reviews the current literature on work-related injury, disability, and death among immigrant workers, and uses the 2009 National Health Interview Survey to explore immigrant worker behaviors that have not been well described. These results indicate that though immigrants may be at greater risk of injury or death at work, they are less likely to file WC and SSDI claims. Future research on analyzing these discrepancies and their implications for SSDI and WC claims are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 6