Swine production has changed dramatically, and in the United States production often takes place in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Because of the size and density of these types of facilities, workers may be exposed to serious occupational health risks such as noxious gases, agricultural dusts, elevated noise levels, and zoonotic diseases. This descriptive study examines self-reported occupational injuries and perceived occupational health problems among a convenience sample of 40 Latino immigrant swine confinement workers (92.5% male; M age = 36.1 years; SD = 10.0) in Missouri. Results indicated that seventeen workers (42.5%) rated their health as fair or poor, thirteen (32.5%) had experienced an occupational injury, and eleven (28.2%) reported occupational health problems such as burning eyes, muscular pain, headaches, coughing, nausea, nasal congestion, and sneezing. The majority of workers did not perceive their job to be dangerous. Clearly, more must be done to protect workers, especially immigrant workers, who may not have the same access to information, training, or other protections. Health and safety should be a priority for both farmworkers and farm employers. Practical and policy-based implications and recommendations are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis