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Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2010 Dec;44(4):978-83.

Work and health conditions of sugar cane workers in Brazil.

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University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto, College of Nursing, Brazil.


This is an exploratory research, with a quantitative approach, developed with the objective of analyzing the work and of life situations that can offer risks to the workers' health involved in the manual and automated cut of the sugar cane. The sample was composed by 39 sugar cane cutters and 16 operators of harvesters. The data collection occurred during the months of July and August of 2006, by the technique of direct observation of work situations and workers' homes and through interviews semi-structured. The interviews were recorded and later transcribed. Data were analyzed according to Social Ecological Theory. It was observed that the workers deal with multiple health risk situations, predominantly to the risks of occurrence of respiratory, musculoskeletal and psychological problems and work-related accidents due to the work activities. The interaction of individual, social and environmental factors can determine the workers' tendency to falling ill.

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