Cattle feedyards are animal feeding operations where beef cattle are finished to market weight on grain. Cattle feeding can be dirty, demanding, and dangerous work. This study sought to assess the predictors of fatigue and the need for recovery among Latino/a immigrant cattle feedyard workers in the United States. A path model was examined to explore direct and indirect relations among physical fatigue, mental fatigue, need for recovery, job characteristics, and health and sociodemographic covariates. Lower self-reported health, experiencing physical pain, not handling animals, and decreased decision latitude were directly related to increased physical fatigue. Shorter tenure working on cattle feedyards, lower educational level, experiencing physical pain, and increased job demands were directly related to heightened mental fatigue. Being female, experiencing physical pain, an elevated average of hours worked per day, increased job demands, and less decision latitude were directly related to an increased need for recovery and indirectly related to both physical and mental fatigue. Physical and mental fatigue have specific correlates, but job characteristics, including job demands and decision latitude, can directly and indirectly impact workers’ levels of physical and mental fatigue and their need for recovery. Both preventive measures and restructuring work operations may reduce the risk for fatigue and the need for recovery. Implications for cattle feedyard workers, supervisors, and employers are discussed. Finding ways to balance productivity and the well-being of workers should be a high priority for cattle feedyards across the country.
- agricultural workers
- cattle feedlot
- need for recovery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health