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Occupational injuries on thoroughbred horse farms: a description of Latino and non-Latino workers' experiences.

Swanberg JE; Clouser JM; Westneat SC; Marsh MW; Reed DB
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2013 Dec; 10(12):6500-6516
Animal production is a dangerous industry and increasingly reliant on a Latino workforce. Within animal production, little is known about the risks or the occupational hazards of working on farms involved in various aspects of thoroughbred horse breeding. Extant research suggests that horse workers are at risk of musculoskeletal and respiratory symptoms, kicks, and other injuries. However, limited known research has examined the experiences of the industry's workers, including immigrant workers, despite their prominence and increased vulnerability. Using data collected from thoroughbred farm representatives via a phone-administered survey, a 2-hour face-to-face semi-structured interview, and farm injury logs, this article identifies and describes types of injuries experienced by workers (N = 284) and their surrounding circumstances. Results indicate that general injuries and musculoskeletal strains, sprains, and tears account for a majority of injuries among workers on thoroughbred farms. Upper limbs and extremities are most frequently injured, while direct contact with the horse accounted for over half of all injuries. No differences in the diagnoses or distribution of injury were found by ethnicity; however, Latinos were more often struck by or trampled by a horse while non-Latinos were more often injured by an insect or plant. Implications and opportunities for future research are discussed.
Animals; Reproductive-hazards; Reproduction; Hazards; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Farmers; Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Respiration; Respiratory-system-disorders; Injuries; Accidents; Demographic-characteristics; Sociological-factors; Racial-factors; Extremities; Humans; Men; Women; Epidemiology; Author Keywords: worker injury; occupational health; Latino workers; agriculture; occupational safety; immigrant workers; horse-related injuries
Jennifer E. Swanberg, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, 525 West Redwood Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Agriculture; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007547; Grant-Number-T42-OH-010278
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: January 8, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division