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Cultural influences on safety and health education among Vietnamese fishermen.

Carruth-AK; Levin-JL; Gilmore-K; Bui-T; Gallardo-G; Evert-W; Sealey-L
J Agromed 2010 Oct; 15(4):375-385
Every ethnic group has its own cultural background and history that influences how it views health behaviors. By virtue of their work history, many Vietnamese have pursued the fishing industry when migrating to the United States. Even though the fishing trades are among the most dangerous jobs in the world, there has been little attention in the literature to the significant role that culture plays in the expression and experience of occupational health practices among Vietnamese shrimp fishermen. Three focus group sessions were conducted to identify factors that hinder or facilitate receptivity to available training and to guide culturally appropriate content. Participants were recruited using purposive sampling among various Vietnamese shrimp fishermen communities in Texas. Utilizing a series of open-ended questions, sessions were conducted in their native language among owners/captains/deckhands; support infrastructure--adult family members and religious/community leaders; and industry management and insurance representatives. Translations of transcribed documents were compared with simultaneous translations to ensure thematic consistency. Conducting hands-on training among Vietnamese by experienced fishermen, specifically targeting captains, was considered key to safety culture on the vessels. Findings of the study support that training should occur in a variety of formats (hands-on), but should be periodic, current, practical, convenient, taught in the primary language of the audience by an experienced individual, culminate in a certificate of completion, and target captains first. These findings illustrate the importance of considering cultural factors in the design of workplace interventions that focus on changes in safety and occupational health behaviors.
Training; Humans; Fishing-industry; Aquatic-working-environment; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Author Keywords: Culture; safety training; shrimp fishing
A. K. Carruth, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana 70402, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
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Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
SIC Code
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Texas Health Center at Tyler