Perspectives on safety and health among migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States and México: a qualitative field study

J Rural Health. 2009 Spring;25(2):219-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2009.00221.x.


Context: A large number of hired farmworkers in the United States come from México. Understanding safety and health concerns among the workers is essential to improving prevention programs.

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to obtain detailed information about safety and health concerns of hired farmworkers in Colorado and in México.

Methods: A total of 10 migrant farmworkers from northern Colorado and 5 seasonal farmworkers from Guanajuato, México, were interviewed using a semi-structured interview process. The social cognitive theory (SCT) served as a framework to gain understanding of safety and health among workers.

Findings: Topics of concern identified included causes of farm, home and motor vehicle injuries, and treatment preferences for injuries and illnesses. Four main themes emerged: safety and health concerns, personal control and prevention strategies, factors affecting control and prevention strategies, and the importance of family.

Conclusions: Further study of the themes using a revised semi-structured interview will be done in a larger study among hired farmworkers. The results add to the current work to understand specific health and safety concerns among these workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture*
  • Colorado
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Young Adult