Earlier this summer Congress was focused on passing transformative legislation on immigration. The measure was passed in the Senate but stalled in the House. The proposed legislation is expected to continue to receive a lot time and attention from Congress as it affects millions of workers in this country who are immigrants, and this topic is expected to be on the national agenda for years.
How immigrant workers are treated in the workplace and their subsequent safety is of great importance to Crawford as Broadspire®, a Crawford company, is a leading third party administrator of workers compensation claims, liability claims and medical management services. Its integrated medical management services aim to get employees back to work sooner, boosting employee productivity while containing costs. Immigrant workers typically account for a significant number of at-work injuries and consequent workers compensation claims.
Peter Rousmaniere is a journalist and consultant in the field of risk, with a special focus on work injuries. Last month he provided a guest column to www.workcompwire.com entitled “Our Agenda for Immigrant Workers”, one of a series of articles he has recently contributed to the site. In his columns he discusses how immigrants comprise 13% of the U.S. population, but are responsible for upwards of 25% of all work injuries among low- and moderate-wage workers, which creates a high volume of workers compensation claims. He goes on to explain that language and cultural differences add to immigrant workers’ risk of work accidents, plus complicate their recovery during therapy or rehabilitation.
In his most recent column, Peter discussed approaches to managing immigrant worker injuries, and highlighted four points that workers compensation professionals should focus on to improve how their company manages immigrant worker and raise public awareness of this issue:
- “First, carefully inventory your and your organization’s experience with safety and health issues involving foreign-born workers.
- Second, review your written communications to make sure that they are truly accessible to people who are not brought up in the United States.
- Third, develop as complete a mental picture as you can of the whole life of an immigrant worker.
- Fourth, discuss these issues openly in business association and professional gatherings, online groups, and publications. “
Rousmaniere also announces the upcoming official release of the guide Work Safe – An Employer’s Guide to Safety and Health in a Diversified Workforce which will take place at the 22nd annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo (NWCDC), held in Las Vegas on November 20-22 this year at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Work Safe is authored by Rousmaniere and published with the support of Concentra and Broadspire® as a public service document.
The guide, the first of its kind, will provide practical advice on obtaining translation resources, safety training for non-English speaking workers, communicating about employee benefits and rights, desirable capabilities of medical providers for treating work injuries, the best free online resources, and related topics. It is intended for human resources and safety and operations managers primarily in industries with large immigrant work forces and with average of above average risk of work injuries. These industries include restaurants, hotels, agriculture, food processing, many manufacturing industries, building maintenance, and healthcare.
You can also catch Peter discussing immigration reform as part of a panel presenting the topic Immigration Reform: Strategies You Need to Reduce Risks at the NWCDC. Other panel members are Maja Jurisic, M.D., Regional Medical Director, Concentra and Leslie A. Wilchinsky, RN, CCM, Medical Case Manager II Field Care Management – North East, Broadspire. Have you had to deal with a workers compensation claim, either as an employee or an employer? Do immigrants make up a significant portion of your workplace or industry? Let us know what you think below.