The Boston Globe's Beth Healy and Megan Woolhouse explored the plight of immigrant construction workers. And what they found is scary.

A Globe investigation found that these workers, eager for a paycheck, are often paid below the prevailing wage and illegally in cash. They are also the most likely to be subjected to unsafe work conditions, without insurance to cover medical bills or lost pay if they get hurt. And the unscrupulous contractors who employ them are too seldom caught and penalized.

The Globe's team interviewed three dozen construction workers, legal advocates, and regulators. It also visited construction site and reviewed of hundreds of pages of records.

Federal officials identified 910 “willful or repeat violations” that involved hospitalizations or deaths in the Massachusetts construction industry over the past three years, according to public records requested from the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Of those, 98 percent took place on jobs run by nonunion contractors, OSHA said.

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