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

Schermann MA; Rasmussen RC; Madsen Jenkins S; Vang C; Lor M; Shutske JM
APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2003 Nov; :55434
Child safety guidelines have been created for traditional North American farming families. The purpose of this project was to explore how health and safety materials can be adapted for ethnic communities. The specific aims were to 1) examine the extent and nature of child agricultural labor in Hmong farm families in Minnesota; 2) investigate culture-specific health behavior patterns and culturally appropriate health promotion methods for Hmong farm families; and 3) analyze current child work guidelines for applicability and appropriateness for Hmong farming families. Methods: Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, including extensive literature review, review of secondary data, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, field observations, and height and weight measurements. Data Analysis: Text narratives, field notes, and photographs were synthesized and contextualized by the research team and entered into Atlas.ti, software used to manage and organize qualitative data; numerical data was analyzed with SPSS. Results: Hmong farm children have different work tasks, roles, and responsibilities compared to other North American farm children. Hmong children perform tasks in four time-related phases: preharvest, harvest, postharvest, and at the market. Tasks differ in each phase and by age and gender. In families we observed, girls work longer hours and carry heavier loads than boys of the same age. Discussion: 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
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108
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Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Source Name
APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division