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Journal Article


Smith DJ, Ferranti EP, Hertzberg VS, Mac V. Workplace Health Saf. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2020, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Publisher SAGE Publications)






BACKGROUND: Outdoor workers are exposed to hot work environments and are at risk of heat-related morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge of migrant farmworkers about first aid for heat-related illness (HRI) symptoms.

METHODS: The authors recruited 60 migrant farmworkers out of 66 who were approached from vegetable farms in Georgia. They were workers who participated in the 2018 Farmworker Family Health Program (FWFHP). The authors surveyed the workers to assess demographics, prevalence of HRI symptoms, hydration practices, and knowledge of HRI first aid. Descriptive statistics for worker demographics, HRI symptoms, and hydration data were calculated, as were the percentages of correctly answered pilot questions.

FINDINGS: Of the 60 workers who chose to participate in this study, more than 50% incorrectly answered pilot questions related to their knowledge of HRI first aid. The two most common HRI symptoms reported were heavy sweating and muscle cramps. More than two thirds reported experiencing at least one HRI symptom during the workday. Mean liquid consumption within this sample was 72.95 oz per day, which is much less than the recommended 32 oz per hour.

CONCLUSION/Application to Practice: Until larger structural change can occur to protect farmworkers, farm owners can prevent morbidity and mortality from inadequate hydration practices and working in high-heat conditions by providing migrant farmworkers with training in heat-related first aid. Appropriate heat-illness interventions should focus on first aid measures to reduce morbidity and mortality related to heat illness in farmworkers.

Language: en


rural health; agricultural workers; disease prevention; first aid; heat-illness; migrant health


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