Water safety among Latino farmworkers in North Carolina

J Agromedicine. 2002;8(2):77-83. doi: 10.1300/J096v08n02_10.


Latinos constitute the vast majority of North Carolina's farmworker population. Drowning is a significant occupational health hazard in agriculture. Recent reports also suggest a disproportionate number of drowning victims in North Carolina are Latinos. Survey data are used to examine the levels of farmworker participation in aquatic activities and water safety behaviors. Over one-third of the farmworkers reported that they did not know how to swim. About one-quarter of the farmworkers reported participation in aquatic activities, with a greater percentage of those knowing how to swim participating in these activities. Recommendations to increase farmworker water safety include providing information through their employers and health outreach workers.