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J Agromedicine. 2015;20(2):167-77. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2015.1010064.

Agricultural occupational health and safety perspectives among Latino-American youth.

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a Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences , University of Washington , Seattle , Washington , USA.

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Agricultural work is one of the most dangerous jobs for adolescents. Through a university-community partnership, the authors surveyed young primarily acculturated Latino-American farmworkers 14 to 18 years of age regarding their agricultural work experience. Topics included occupational health and safety education, work history, and information sources. The authors also evaluated the Rapid Clinical Assessment Tool (RCAT), a pictorial tool for identifying agricultural tasks to enhance discussion with clinical providers. One hundred forty youth with farmwork experience completed the survey; 6% reported a previous work-related injury or illness and 53% reported receiving some workplace health and safety training. Correct identification of legally restricted duties for youth varied but were generally low: participants identified working alone past 8 pm (57%), driving a forklift (56%), doing roofing work (39%), working in freezers (34%), and driving a delivery vehicle (30%). The Internet was identified as the most likely and reliable place youth would go to find information on workplace health and safety. Few (15%) reported clinician-initiated conversations on occupational health; however, a high proportion responded positively to questions regarding the usefulness of the RCAT for this purpose. This study highlights the need for workplace health and safety guidance for youth employed in agriculture. The results support Internet-based outreach and use of the RCAT to help facilitate occupational health discussions in clinical settings.


Agricultural workers; Latino-American; youth

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