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Hmong children as farm workers in Minnesota: hazards, tasks and safe work practices.

Shutske-JM; Schermann-MA
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :29
The purpose of this NIOSH-funded research project has been to 1) examine the extent and nature of children’s agricultural labor in farm families of Hmong origin in Minnesota; 2) investigate culture-specific health behavior patterns and culturally appropriate health promotion methods for farm families of Hmong origin; and 3) analyze the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) manual labor guidelines for applicability and appropriateness for use by Hmong farming families. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, including extensive literature review; review of secondary data; semi-structured interviews of parents, grandparents, and other care providers; focus groups; field observations of children and families performing work; and height and weight measurements of children. Text narratives, field notes, and photographs were analyzed using Atlas.ti software used to manage and organize qualitative data. Numerical data were analyzed with SPSS. Hmong farm children are engaged in different work tasks, roles, and responsibilities compared to mainstream North American farm children. Hmong children perform tasks in four temporal phases: preharvest, harvest, post-harvest, and at the market. The characteristics and intensity of tasks performed by children differ in each phase. Tasks differ by age and gender. Girls work longer hours and carry heavier loads than boys of the same age. Standard health and safety materials are not widely accepted by Minnesota Hmong farmers. Participants in this project helped develop culturally appropriate and relevant materials for Hmong farm parents and children. These materials and the development process will be presented and discussed.
Racial-factors; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Children; Work-practices; Behavior-patterns
John M. Shutske, Professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota