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Knowledge and practices to avoid heat-related illness among Hispanic farmworkers along the Florida-Georgia line.

Luque JS; Becker A; Bossak BH; Grzywacz JG; Tovar-Aguilar JA; Guo Y
J Agromedicine 2020 Apr; 25(2):190-200
Objectives: Farmworkers who harvest and weed field crops are at increased risk for heat exposure and heat-related illness (HRI). The study objectives were to: (1) train crew leaders to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) heat safety tool app and evaluate the utility of the app from a crew leader perspective; and (2) characterize heat safety knowledge, preventive practices, and perceptions of HRI risk among Hispanic farmworkers. Methods: Before harvest season, six crew leaders completed a 2-hour OSHA heat illness prevention training, including evaluation of a heat safety mobile app. Between August and October 2018, 101 Hispanic farmworkers participated in cross-sectional surveys about heat safety. Survey participants responded to questions about HRI prevention, HRI knowledge, and sociodemographics. Results: Crew leaders using the heat safety app rated the app very highly on relevance, functionality, value and privacy. Farmworkers did not report being overly concerned about HRI based on their survey responses. Nevertheless, 19% of farmworkers had experienced nonspecific symptoms from working in the heat, such as headache, dizziness, and nausea. In the multivariate linear regression model, farmworkers had lower heat safety knowledge scores if they were H-2A visa holders, female, and only "a little bit concerned," compared to others who were "very concerned" about working in the heat. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate the need for continued heat safety training for both crew leaders and farmworkers to reduce the risk of HRI, especially among less experienced farmworkers.
Heat; Heat exposure; Heat stress; Heat stroke; Temperature effects; Body temperature; Farm workers; Farmers; Agricultural workers; Agriculture; Racial factors; Seasonal workers; Migrant workers; Training; Safety education; Supervisory personnel; Mobile equipment; Computer applications; Occupational Safety and Health Administration; OSHA; Health surveys; Protective measures; Questionnaires; Sociological factors; Demographic characteristics; Work experience; Women; Men; Risk factors; Exposure limits; Intervention; Intervention effectiveness; Author Keywords: Cooling practices; farmworker; heat-related illness; hydration; Hispanic
John S. Luque, Institute of Public Health, Science Research Center, Florida A&M University, 1515 South MLK Blvd., Suite 207B, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Florida, Gainesville
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division