Wake Forest, NC, United States
Wake Forest, NC, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Grzywacz J.G.,Center for Worker Health | Sidebottom J.,North Carolina State University | Wiggins M.F.,Student Action with Farmworkers
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Manual labor in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) Sector is provided primarily by immigrant workers. Limited information is available that documents the demographic characteristics of these manual workers, the occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities they experience; or the risk factors to which they are exposed. Methods: A working conference of experts on occupational health in the AgFF Sector was held to address information limitations. This paper provides an overview of the conference. Other reports address organization of work, health outcomes, healthcare access, and safety policy. Contents: This report addresses how best to define the population and the AgFF Sector, occupational exposures for the sector, data limitations, characteristics of immigrant workers, reasons for concern for immigrant workers in the AgFF Sector, regulations, a conceptual model for occupational health, and directions for research and intervention. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Quandt S.A.,Medical Center Boulevard | Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health | Bischoff W.E.,Section on Infectious Diseases | Bischoff W.E.,Center for Worker Health | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives. We sought to (1) describe observed cooking and eating facilities in migrant farmworker camps, (2) compare observed conditions with existing farmworker housing regulations, and (3) examine associations of violations with camp characteristics. Methods. We collected data in 182 farmworker camps in eastern North Carolina during the 2010 agricultural season. We compared our observations with 15 kitchen-related housing regulations specified by federal and state housing standards. Results. We observed violations of 8 regulations in at least 10% of camps: improper refrigerator temperature (65.5%), cockroach infestation (45.9%), contaminated water (34.4%), rodent infestation (28.9%), improper flooring (25.8%), unsanitary conditions (21.2%), improper fire extinguisher (19.9%), and holes or leaks in walls (12.1%). Logistic regression showed that violations were related to the time of the agricultural season, housing type, number of dwellings and residents, and presence of workers with H-2A visas. Conclusions. Cooking and eating facilities for migrant farmworkers fail to comply with regulations in a substantial number of camps. Greater enforcement of regulations, particularly during occupancy during the agricultural season, is needed to protect farmworkers.


Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health | Quandt S.A.,Medical Center Boulevard | Chen H.,Center for Worker Health | Bischoff W.E.,Section on Infectious Diseases | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Although the health risk to farmworkers of working in hot conditions is recognized, potential for excessive heat exposure in housing affecting rest and recovery has been ignored. We assessed heat index in common and sleeping rooms in 170 North Carolina farmworker camps across a summer and examined associations with time of summer and air conditioning use. We recorded dangerous heat indexes in most rooms, regardless of time or air conditioning. Policies to reduce heat indexes in farmworker housing should be developed. © 2013 American Journal of Public Health.


Liebman A.K.,Migrant Clinicians Network Maryland Office | Wiggins M.F.,Student Action with Farmworkers | Fraser C.,North Carolina Justice Center | Levin J.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Immigrant workers make up an important portion of the hired workforce in the Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) sector, one of the most hazardous industry sectors in the US. Despite the inherent dangers associated with this sector, worker protection is limited. Methods: This article describes the current occupational health and safety policies and regulatory standards in the AgFF sector and underscores the regulatory exceptions and limitations in worker protections. Immigration policies and their effects on worker health and safety are also discussed. Emphasis is placed on policies and practices in the Southeastern US. Results: Worker protection in the AgFF sector is limited. Regulatory protections are generally weaker than other industrial sectors and enforcement of existing regulations is woefully inadequate. The vulnerability of the AgFF workforce is magnified by worker immigration status. Agricultural workers in particular are affected by a long history of "exceptionalism" under the law as many regulatory protections specifically exclude this workforce. Conclusions: A vulnerable workforce and high-hazard industries require regulatory protections that, at a minimum, are provided to workers in other industries. A systematic policy approach to strengthen occupational safety and health in the AgFF sector must address both immigration policy and worker protection regulations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Nguyen H.T.,Center for Worker Health | Summers P.,Center for Worker Health | Holbrook L.C.,Center for Worker Health | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Pesticide exposure poses a health risk for farmworkers. This analysis documents lifetime and current pesticide exposure of North Carolina Latino migrant farmworkers, with comparison to non-farmworker Latino immigrants. Methods: During May to October 2012, 235 Latino farmworkers and 212 Latino non-farmworkers completed interviews with items to construct measures of lifetime, current residential and occupational pesticide exposure. Results: Farmworkers experience levels of lifetime and residential pesticide exposure that are consistently greater than among non-farmworkers. Farmworkers report a large number of occupational pesticide exposures. Lifetime exposure and current residential pesticide exposure are related to social determinants. Education is inversely related to lifetime pesticide exposure for farmworkers and non-farmworkers; farmworkers with H-2A visas report greater residential pesticide exposure than those without H-2A visas. Conclusions: Occupational safety policy needs to consider these patterns of lifetime exposure when setting standards. Health care providers should be aware of the lifetime and current exposure of this vulnerable population. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:776-787, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Cartwright M.S.,Center for Worker Health | Chen H.,Center for Worker Health | Rosenbaum D.A.,Center for Worker Health | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: This analysis examines the associations of work organization attributes among Latino women in manual occupations with musculoskeletal and neurological injuries. Methods: Participants included 234 women in western North Carolina. Outcome measures included epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Independent measures included indicators of job demand, job control, and job support, as well as personal characteristics. Results: Latina workers commonly experienced epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, back pain, and CTS. Awkward posture and decision latitude were associated with epicondylitis. Rotator cuff syndrome was associated with awkward posture and psychological demand. Awkward posture and psychological demand, and decreased skill variety and job control were related to CTS. Conclusions: Work organization factors are potentially important for musculoskeletal and neurological injury among vulnerable workers. Research is required to understand the associations of work and health outcomes of these women. Policy initiatives need to consider how work organization affects health. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:468-475, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Grzywacz J.G.,Center for Worker Health | Chen H.,Center for Worker Health | Mora D.C.,Center for Worker Health | Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Objectives. We sought to describe work organization attributes for employed immigrant Latinas and determine associations of work organization with physical health, mental health, and health-related quality of life.Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional survey with 319 employed Latinas in western North Carolina (2009-2011). Measures included job demands (heavy load, awkward posture, psychological demand), decision latitude (skill variety, job control), support (supervisor control, safety climate), musculoskeletal symptoms, mental health (depressive symptoms), and mental (MCS) and physical component score (PCS) health-related quality of life.Results. Three fifths reported musculoskeletal symptoms. Mean scores for depression, MCS, and PCS were 6.2 (SE = 0.2), 38.3 (SE = 0.5), and 42.8 (SE = 0.3), respectively. Greater job demands (heavy load, awkward posture, greater psychological demand) were associated with more musculoskeletal and depressive symptoms and worse MCS. Less decision latitude (lower skill variety, job control) was associated with more musculoskeletal and depressive symptoms. Greater support (supervisor's power and safety climate) was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better MCS.Conclusions. Work organization should be considered to improve occupational health of vulnerable women workers. Additional research should delineate the links between work organization and health among vulnerable workers. © 2013 American Public Health Association.


Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Lu C.,Harvard University | Chen H.,Center for Worker Health | Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health Wake
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Migrant farmworkers are exposed to pesticides at work. Housing provided to migrant farmworkers may also expose them to pesticides, increasing their health risks. This analysis (1) describes the presence of organophosphorous (OP) and pyrethroid pesticides in North Carolina migrant farmworker houses, and (2) delineates associations of farmworker camp characteristics with pesticide detection and concentration. Methods: In 2010, 186 migrant farmworkers camps in NC were recruited (participation rate of 82.3%); pesticide wipe samples for 176 houses were analyzed. Tobacco is the predominant hand-harvested crop in this region. Two farmworkers per camp completed interviews; a third assisted with a housing inspection. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to detect OP and pyrethroid pesticides. Covariates of pesticide detection and concentration were determined with ANOVA and Tobit regression. Results: OPs were found in 166 of 176 houses (average of 2.4/house); pyrethroids were found in 171 houses (average of 4.3/house). The number of different OPs detected in each camp and concentrations of these OPs were not associated with camp and housing characteristics. The number of different pyrethroids detected in each camp and concentrations of these pyrethroids were associated with camps having residents with H2-A visas, a posted North Carolina Department of Labor Certificate of Inspection, no barracks, fewer residents, no bedroom weather protection or floor violations, and no roaches. Conclusions: Farmworkers are exposed to pesticides where they live. Policy on removing pesticides from farmworker houses is needed. Reducing pesticides in farmworker houses will reduce one health risk confronted by this vulnerable population. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Kearney G.D.,East Carolina University | Rodriguez G.,Center for Worker Health | Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health | Arcury J.T.,Statistical Consultants Ltd | Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Objectives. The aims of this project were to describe the work safety climate and the association between occupational safety behaviors and injuries among hired youth farmworkers in North Carolina (n = 87). Methods. We conducted personal interviews among a cross-sectional sample of youth farmworkers aged 10 to 17 years. Results. The majority of youths reported that work safety practices were very important to management, yet 38% stated that supervisors were only interested in "doing the job quickly and cheaply." Few youths reported appropriate work safety behavior, and 14% experienced an injury within the past 12 months. In bivariate analysis, perceptions of work safety climate were significantly associated with pesticide exposure risk factors for rewearing wet shoes (P = .01), wet clothes (P = .01), and shorts (P = .03). Conclusions. Youth farmworkers perceived their work safety climate as being poor. Although additional research is needed to support these findings, these results strengthen the need to increase employer awareness to improve the safety climate for protecting youth farmworkers from harmful exposures and injuries.


Arcury T.A.,Center for Worker Health | Kearney G.D.,East Carolina University | Rodriguez G.,Center for Worker Health | Arcury J.T.,Statistical Consultants Ltd | Quandt S.A.,Center for Worker Health
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Objectives. We analyzed aspects of the behavioral, situational, and psychological elements of work safety culture of hired youth farmworkers in North Carolina. Methods. Data were from interviewer-administered questionnaires completed with 87 male and female hired farmworkers aged 10 to 17 years in North Carolina in 2013. We computed means, SDs, and Cronbach α values for the perceived work safety climate and safety perception summary scores. Results. Hired youth farmworkers in North Carolina described a negative work safety culture. Most engaged in unsafe general and unsafe work behaviors, few received training, and many were sexually harassed at work. They had mixed safety attitudes and knew that their employment was precarious. They reported a poor perceived work safety climate characterized by the perception that their supervisors "are only interested in doing the job fast and cheaply." However, we could not detect statistically significant associations between work safety culture and injuries among these farmworkers. Conclusions. Increased scrutiny of agriculture as a suitable industry for workers as young as 10 years and additional regulations to protect hired youth farmworkers, if not to remove them from this environment, are warranted. Additional research is needed.

Loading Center for Worker Health collaborators
Loading Center for Worker Health collaborators