Swanberg, J., Clouser, J., Bush, A. & Westneat, S. (accepted, 2015). From the Horse Worker’s Mouth: A Detailed Account of Injuries Experienced by Latino Horse Workers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.
Horse breeding farms are hazardous. Yet, little is known about the injuries of Latino horse workers. This study assesses Latino horse workers’ injury prevalence, describes their injuries, and analyzes differences between injuries receiving medical versus those receiving first aid care. Data were gathered from 225 Latino thoroughbred workers via a community-based purposive sampling strategy. Questions included injury experiences in the past year and details about each person’s two most severe injuries. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted. Nearly half of workers experienced an injury in the past year, often involving a horse. Bruises and sprains/strains were most common, as were injuries to upper/lower appendages. Head/face injuries more often resulted in medical care. The injury burden in this Latino worker population is high. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and training is advised due to the high prevalence of horse-related injuries. Future research should investigate aspects of the work environment that may influence injury risk.
Swanberg, J., Clouser, M. J., Gan, W., Mannino, D. & Flunker, J. (2015). Individual and occupational characteristics associated with respiratory symptoms among Latino horse farm workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58, 679-687.
Latino workers are likely exposed to a variety of respiratory hazards in the horse barn, yet the potential impact of these exposures on respiratory health has not been investigated.
Using a community-based sample of 225 Latino horse farmworkers we investigated the prevalence of upper and lower respiratory symptoms and occupational characteristics associated with them. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with respiratory symptomology.
Upper respiratory symptoms prevalence ranged from 24% to 45%. Half of workers reported lower respiratory symptoms. Workers with symptoms were more likely to be female and have lower levels of English understanding. Workers who never/rarely used dust masks while working in the barn experienced over two times the odds of reporting upper respiratory symptoms.
Many Latino horse workers experienced upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Dust mask use may protect workers in this and other enclosed livestock operations from respiratory symptoms.
Arcury, T. A., Gabbard, S., Bell, B., Casanova, V., Flocks, J. D., Swanberg, J. E., & Wiggins, M. F. (2015). Collecting comparative data on farmworker housing and health: Recommendations for collecting housing and health data across places and time. New Solutions, 25(3), 387-312.
The substandard nature of the housing in which most farmworkers live has detrimental effects on their health, as well as on their children’s health and development. However, little research has directly documented associations between farmworker housing and health; existing research is not always comparable due to differences in design and measurement. Comparative data can help determine actual causal links between housing characteristics and farmworker health and help to evaluate the efficacy of current housing policy. The goal of this paper is to provide guidelines promoting comparable research on farmworker housing and the association of this housing with health. This paper reviews general concepts relevant to measuring farmworker housing and health, issues that should be considered in designing farmworker housing and health research, data collection methods, and measures. It concludes with recommendations for a research agenda on farmworker housing and health.
Clouser, J., Swanberg, J. & Bundy, H. (2015) Keeping workers safe at work: Does provision of personal protective equipment match supervisor risk perceptions? American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Although farm management may understand agriculture’s risks, they may not provide personal protective equipment (PPE). This study thoroughbred farm management’s risk perceptions, provision of PPE, and factors that influence its provision.
Thirty-five representatives from 26 farms participated in a 1-4 hour semi-structured interview covering perceived risks associated with horse work and perspectives and provision of PPE. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, entered into ATLAS.ti, and analyzed by three coders.
Management cited horse-related tasks as most dangerous, yet horse-related PPE as least provided because of 1) differences in farm context, 2) the belief that workers were most important agents in their safety, 3) lack of confidence in its effectiveness, and 4) the perception that risk could never be eliminated.
PPE provision was limited by management’s poor perceptions of its efficacy relative to other factors. Future research should explore workers’ perceptions and PPE’s effectiveness in averting horse-related injury.