Preventing eye injuries among citrus harvesters: the community health worker model.

Although eye injuries are common among citrus harvesters, the proportion of workers using protective eyewear has been negligible. We focused on adoption of worker-tested safety glasses with and without the presence and activities of trained peer-worker role models on harvesting crews.
Observation of 13 citrus harvesting crews established baseline use of safety eyewear. Nine crews subsequently were assigned a peer worker to model use of safety glasses, conduct eye safety education, and treat minor eye injuries. Safety eyewear use by crews was monitored up to 15 weeks into the intervention.
Intervention crews with peer workers had significantly higher rates of eyewear use than control crews. Intervention exposure time and level of worker use were strongly correlated. Among intervention crews, workers with 1 to 2 years of experience (odds ratio [OR] = 2.89; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 7.55) and who received help from their peer worker (OR = 3.73; 95% CI = 1.21, 11.57) were significantly more likely to use glasses than were other intervention crew members.
Adaptation of the community health worker model for this setting improved injury prevention practices and may have relevance for similar agricultural settings.
AuthorsPaul F Monaghan, Linda S Forst, Jose Antonio Tovar-Aguilar, Carol A Bryant, Glenn D Israel, Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez, Zachary Thompson, Yiliang Zhu, Robert J McDermott
JournalAmerican journal of public health (Am J Public Health) Vol. 101 Issue 12 Pg. 2269-74 (Dec 2011) ISSN: 1541-0048 [Electronic] United States
PMID22021291 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
  • Accidents, Occupational (prevention & control)
  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Citrus
  • Community Health Workers
  • Eye Injuries (prevention & control)
  • Eye Protective Devices (utilization)
  • Florida
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans
  • Young Adult

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