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Issue Guide: Knowledge and practices to avoid heat-related illness among Hispanic farmworkers along the Florida-Georgia line

Farmworkers who work outdoors and in field crops are at an increased risk of developing heat-related illness (HRI) unless proper preventative measures are taken.

SCCAHS researchers recently conducted a study that aimed to train crew leaders to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Heat Safety Tool app and evaluate the utility of the app from a crew leader perspective, and to characterize heat safety knowledge, preventive practices, and perceptions of HRI risk among Hispanic farmworkers in the Southeast.

“Florida farmworkers work in hot and humid conditions, but do not have access to training in how to prevent heat-related illnesses (HRI),” said John Luque, associate professor of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU). “This study found that farmworkers are interested in checking on local heat index conditions using the OSHA Heat Safety Tool App, which also provides heat safety guidance for staying hydrated on the job.”

For this study, 6 crew leaders completed a 2-hour OSHA heat illness prevention training, including evaluation of a heat safety mobile app. Between August and October 2018, 101 Hispanic farmworkers participated in a survey about heat safety. Survey participants responded to questions about HRI prevention, HRI knowledge, and sociodemographics.

Learn more by downloading the latest SCCAHS issue guide:

The information in this issue guide was adapted from the following journal article:

Luque, J.S., Becker, A., Bossak, B. H., Grzywacz, J. G., Tovar-Aguilar, J. A., & Guo, Yian (2019). Knowledge and practices to avoid heat-related illness among hispanic farmworkers along the Florida-Georgia line. Journal of Agromedicine. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2019.1670312.

The Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS) is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative. SCCAHS explores and addresses the occupational safety and health needs of people working in agriculture, fishing, and forestry in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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