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Farmworkers at the border: a bilingual initiative for occupational health and safety.

Acosta-MS; Sechrest-L; Chen-MK
Public Health Rep 2009 Jul-Aug; 124(Suppl 1):143-151
OBJECTIVE: Bilingual and bicultural occupational health and safety interventions for Hispanic farmworkers are extremely rare and, because of language barriers and cultural differences, issues important to their health and safety on the job remain unaddressed. We designed, conducted, and assessed the first bilingual occupational health and safety education program for farmworkers attending High School Equivalency Programs (HEPs). METHODS: We took an interdisciplinary participatory approach by integrating educators and researchers with a community advisory board to guide development, evaluation, and implementation of Work Safely-Trabaje con Cuidado Curriculum (Curriculum), a bilingual occupational health and safety curriculum. We created a quasi-experimental design using mixed-method evaluation (quantitative and qualitative elements) via pre- and posttest comparisons, follow-up surveys, and focus groups assessing the Curriculum effect on knowledge, safety risk perception (SRP), and safety behavior. Focus groups and follow-up surveys reflected success and acceptance of the Curriculum among participating farmworkers under the study's logic model. RESULTS: Completion of the Curriculum resulted in statistically significant improvements in the combined score of knowledge and SRP at the posttest (p = 0.001) and follow-up survey (p = 0.02) in the intervention group. After completing this study, the Curriculum was permanently adopted by the two high school equivalency sites involved. CONCLUSION: The participatory approach resulted in integration of community and applied research partnership. The potential to expand use of this Curriculum by other HEP sites can further assess effectiveness and external validity among underserved minority groups.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Education; Educational-resource-centers; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Farmers; Medical-surveys; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-health-services; Occupational-safety-programs; Qualitative-analysis; Quantitative-analysis; Racial-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Work-environment; Worker-health; Worker-motivation; Work-organization; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
Martha Soledad Vela Acosta, MD, MS, PhD, The Kresge Foundation, 3215 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007541; Grant-Number-T42-CCT-610417
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Public Health Reports
Performing Organization
University of Texas Health Center at Tyler