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A Cohort Study of Injuries in Migrant Farm Worker Families in South Texas

Author: Cooper, Sharon P; Burau, Keith E; Frankowski, Ralph; Shipp, Eva M.; Del Junco, Deborah J.
Date Published: 2006


This cohort study estimated the frequency of and risk factors for work injuries among migrant farmworker families over a two-year period. It consisted of 267 families. Bilingual interviewers asked mothers to respond for their family soliciting demographic, psychosocial, employment, and work-related injury information. Cox regression was used to examine risk factors for first injury events. Of the 267 families, nearly 60% migrated and 96% of these completed the follow-up interviews. These families represented about 310 individuals each year who had participated in farmwork on average 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, for 2.7 months in the past year. Twenty-five work-related injuries were reported with an overall rate of 12.5/100 FTE (95% C.I., 8.619.0). Working for a contractor increased the hazard ratio, and use of car seat belts and working for more than one employer during the season decreased it. If person-time at risk for injuries is taken into account the reported injuries are substantial. Because the injuries were quite diverse, specific interventions may have to focus on improved working conditions (physical and economic), ergonomic modifications, and enhanced enforcement of existing regulations.

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Number of Pages: 8