Undocumented status as a social determinant of occupational safety and health: The workers’ perspective

Source: Michael A. Flynn, Donald E. Eggerth and C. Jeffrey Jacobson Jr., American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 58 no. 11, November 2015
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From the abstract:
Background: Undocumented immigration to the United States has grown dramatically over the past 25 years. This study explores undocumented status as a social determinant of occupational health by examining its perceived consequences on workplace safety of Latino immigrants.

Methods: Guided by the Theory of Work Adjustment, qualitative analysis was conducted on transcripts from focus groups and individual interviews conducted with a convenience sample of Latino immigrant workers.

Results: Participants reported that unauthorized status negatively impacted their safety at work and resulted in a degree of alienation that exceeded the specific proscriptions of the law. Participants overwhelming used a strategy of disengagement to cope with the challenges they face as undocumented immigrants.

Conclusion: This study describes the complex web of consequences resulting from undocumented status and its impact on occupational health. This study presents a framework connecting the daily work experiences of immigrants, the coping strategy of disengagement, and efforts to minimize the impact of structural violence.