Online Program

Increasing use of personal protective equipment among low acculturated farmworkers: A role for the EPA

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Patricia Y. Miranda, MPH, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Angela Campbell, MA, MPH, Health Policy Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Shedra Amy Snipes, PhD, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Alejandro Montiel-Ishino, MPH, Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Background: Agricultural harvest workers are a vulnerable, primarily Mexican-origin population who experience substantial pesticide exposure.  Evidence strongly indicates that when harvest workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE), exposures to pesticides are substantially reduced.  However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Worker Protection Standard does not require employers to provide PPE to harvest workers.  Our study, ¡Protejase!,examined if provision of PPE is associated with increased use over time among pilot intervention participants.  Moreover, we explored if acculturation played a mediating role in the relationship between PPE use, provision, safety training.  Methods: Six OLS regression models used Provided PPETime1, Not Provided PPETime1, Provided PPETime2, Not Provided PPETime2, Change in Provided PPE and Change in Not Provided PPE as dependent variables. Results: At Time 1, low language acculturation is significantly associated (p<.05) with decreased use of provided PPE (shirts, glasses, gloves). This relationship remains significant even when we control for income, gender and number of years working in agriculture. By Time 2, participants with low language acculturation had an average PPE use rating of 4.5 or almost always wearing shirts, gloves and glasses. Conclusions: Among low acculturation farmworkers, provision was successful in significantly increasing the use of PPE.  Our study highlights that more stringent standards, such as requiring the employer provision of PPE for harvest workers, would provide the essential tools for a safer work environment that also influence additional health behaviors of agricultural workers.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effectiveness of an intervention with agricultural harvest workers to increase use of personal protective equipment.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an active, funded investigator of Latino farmworkers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.