Immigration and occupational accidents: A comparative study of accident severity among foreign and Spanish citizens in the agricultural sector

Xavier Baraza and Natàlia Cugueró-Escofet

Aim of study: The objective of this paper was to understand the differences between immigrants and Spanish workers in terms of duration of sick leave, for work accidents in Spain’s agricultural sector, to propose possible action plans and improve the sector’s future accident rates, with equal conditions for immigrants and Spanish workers.

Area of study: The analysis was based in a total of 158,166 accidents in Spain from 2013 to 2018.

Material and methods: The average number of working days lost per group (Spanish and immigrants) has been calculated for the different variables. For each case, a mean comparison analysis was performed using Student’s t-test to independently compare nationals and immigrants for each variable.

Main results: The agricultural sector produces a high level of severe accident rates compared to other sectors, as incident rates of death are 59.36% higher in agriculture compared to other sectors. It has the highest level of accidents for foreign workers, as immigrants presented 91.36% more accidents that Spaniards, even if accidents for immigrants are under reported, as regarding workdays lost due to injuries reported, these are statistically higher for Spanish workers. This meaning that this sector is more precarious, and this is worse for immigrants, therefore is a compelling matter of social justice that deserve the establishment of policies for government and companies to equate work conditions between immigrants and Spaniards.

Research highlights: A comparative analysis of the severity of occupational accidents between Spanish and foreign workers in Spain’s agricultural sector.

Additional key words: occupational safety; agriculture; safety health; accident rate.

Citation: Baraza, X; Cugueró-Escofet, N (2022). Immigration and occupational accidents: A comparative study of accident severity among foreign and Spanish citizens in the agricultural sector. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, Volume 20, Issue 3, e0105.
Supplementary material (Tables S1-S4) accompanies the paper on SJAR’s website.
Received: 30 Aug 2021. Accepted: 01 Aug 2022.
Copyright © 2022 CSIC. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests: No potential conflicts of interest were reported by the authors.
Correspondence should be addressed to Xavier Baraza:

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August 2022