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Occupational Injury and Illness in Farmworkers in the Eastern United States

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Latino Farmworkers in the Eastern United States

Abstract

Farmworkers experience high rates of occupational injury and illness in an industry with fatality rates seven times higher than the national average. This chapter addresses key occupational health challenges encountered by farmworkers in the eastern United States. Some are common problems likely to be encountered by those working any commodity, while others are unique to the particular mix of crops produced in this region. This chapter reviews common occupational health problems of farmworkers, including heat stress, musculoskeletal injuries, skin disease, hearing loss, eye injury, and transportation-related injuries. Because some knowledge of geographic, commodity-specific, and other patterns of illness and injury occurrence can be of considerable assistance to the clinician, examples of prominent occupational challenges associated with selected commodities are also presented. These include orchard work, tobacco production, dairy farming, and vegetable and berry production. Recommendations for more effective protections for farmworkers and for further research are presented.

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May, J.J. (2009). Occupational Injury and Illness in Farmworkers in the Eastern United States. In: Quandt, ., Arcury, T. (eds) Latino Farmworkers in the Eastern United States. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-88347-2_4

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