Background: The Partnership for Citrus Worker Health (PCWH) is a coalition that connects academic institutions, public health agencies, industry and community-based organizations for implementation of an eye safety pilot project with citrus workers using the Camp Health Aide (CHA) model.
Objectives: This project was an implementation evaluation of an eye safety curriculum using modeling and peer-to-peer education among Mexican migrant citrus workers in a southwest Florida community to increase positive perceptions toward the use of safety eyewear and reduce occupational eye injuries.
Methods: CHAs have been employed and trained in eye safety and health during harvesting seasons since 2004. Field observations, focus group interviews, and written questionnaires assessed program implementation and initial outcomes.
Results: There was an increase in positive perceptions toward use of safety eyewear between 2004 and 2005. Evaluation of training suggested ways to improve the curriculum. The modest literacy level of the CHAs necessitated some redesign of the curriculum and its implementation (e.g., introduction of and more reliance on use of training posters).
Conclusions: PCWH benefited by extensive documentation of the training and supervision, a pilot project that demonstrated the potential effectiveness of CHAs, and having a well-defined target population of citrus workers (n = 427). Future research can rigorously test the effectiveness of CHAs in reducing eye injuries among citrus workers.