Work organization and occupational health: perspectives from Latinos employed on crop and horse breeding farms

Am J Ind Med. 2012 Aug;55(8):714-28. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22032. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Background: Agriculture is hazardous and increasingly dependent on Latino workers, a vulnerable population. However, little research has studied how work organization influences Latino farmworker health.

Methods: Using a work organization framework, this cross-sectional study describes and compares the work organization and occupational health characteristics of a sample of Latino crop (n = 49) and horse production (n = 54) workers in Kentucky.

Results: Crop workers experienced more physical demands, work-related and environmental stressors, and musculoskeletal and ill-health symptoms. Significantly more crop workers indicated work-related illness or missed work due to work-related illness/injury, though one-fourth of both groups reported work-related injury in the past year. A majority of both groups cited exposure to toxic chemicals, a minority of whom received training on their use.

Conclusion: Further surveillance is needed to understand the rate and precursors of illness/injury in these populations, as is research on the relationship between supervisory practices, psychosocial stressors, and occupational health.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / ethnology
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology*
  • Agriculture / organization & administration*
  • Animal Husbandry / organization & administration
  • Animals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupational Injuries / ethnology
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology*
  • Organizational Policy
  • Self Report
  • Workload