Assessment of occupational health and safety risks of farmworkers in Colorado.
Vela-Acosta-MV; Bigelow-P; Buchan-R
Am J Ind Med 2002 Aug; 42(Suppl 2):19-27
Migrant farmworkers face a variety of hazards including exposure to pesticides and agricultural chemicals. However, few studies have quantatively evaluated these risks. Hazards were assessed during 32 field surveys conducted in the agricultural fields and 15 surveys at five camps. Observations of 1,461 farmworkers for potential hazards were recorded. Estimated risk was evaluated on a four-point scale (no hazard, minor, serious, and critical). A total of 229 farmworkers were interviewed about field conditions. Two out of the five camps did not have safe drinking water. Risks for farmworkers were lower when a manager was living on site. Field surveys estimated higher risk when provision of sanitation was deficient (P < 0.05). Farmworkers' responses concerning field conditions differed from the survey findings. Risks for farmworkers depended largely on the environment provided. Discordances between survey results and farmworkers' interview responses suggested that self-reported data might have limited validity for this population. Working and living conditions require improvement to decrease occupational risks for farmworkers.
Occupational-health; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Farmers; Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Occupational-hazards; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-chemicals
Martha Soledad Vela-Acosta, The University of Texas at Brownsville, School of Public Health, 80 Fort Brown 1.220D, Brownsville, TX 78520
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado