Migrant and seasonal crop worker injury and illness across the northeast.
Scribani-M; Wyckoff-S; Jenkins-P; Bauer-H; Earle-Richardson-G
Am J Ind Med 2013 Aug; 56(8):845-855
Background: Northeast farmworkers are a small, widely dispersed, and isolated population. Little is known about their occupational injury and illness risk. Methods: Researchers conducted chart reviews in migrant health centers across the Northeast, and calculated incidence-density for agricultural morbidity based on a new method for estimating total worker hours at risk, and adjusting for cases seen at other sources of care. Results: An estimated annual average of 1,260 cases translated to an incidence of 30.27 per 10,000 worker weeks, (12.7 per 100 FTEs). Straining/spraining events (56% cases) was the most common occurrence (16.8 per 10,000 worker weeks), and lifting (21.5% cases) was the leading contributing factor. Incidence by crop category ranged from 12.95 (ground crop) to 29.69 (bush crop) per 10,000 weeks. Only 2.8% filed for Workers' Compensation. Conclusion: The predominance of straining/spraining events affecting the back, and their association with lifting suggests that Northeastern farmworker occupational health programs should focus on ergonomics, and specifically on safe lifting.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Farmers; Epidemiology; Surveillance-programs; Racial-factors; Risk-analysis; Health-care-facilities; Recording-systems; Morbidity-rates; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Back-injuries; Ergonomics; Safety-practices; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: migrant; farmworker; occupational; musculoskeletal straining/spraining event; surveillance; agriculture; surveillance methods
Giulia Earle-Richardson, PhD, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Bassett Healthcare Network, One Atwell Rd., Cooperstown, NY 13326
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital - Cooperstown, New York