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Research

Part of FAN's mission is to provide in-depth research about farmworkers and poultry workers to policy makers so that they have access to the information they need to make good decisions.  Below you'll see titles and excerpts from a wide variety of research-based articles and reports about farmworkers.  Click on any article to download the full text.

Entries in labor conditions (13)

Tuesday
Dec272011

A Cross-Sectional Exploration of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Depression, and Musculoskeletal Pain among Migrant Farmworkers

In this study the authors estimated the prevalence of elevated daytime sleepiness, depressive symptoms, and musculoskeletal pain among Latino migrant farmworkers, and examined the relationship among these symptoms. Data are from a cross-sectional survey of migrant farmworkers conducted in eastern North Carolina in 2009. Eleven percent of Latino farmworkers reported elevated levels of daytime sleepiness, 28% reported elevated levels of depressive symptoms, and 5% reported moderate to severe musculoskeletal pain on a daily or weekly basis.

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Monday
Dec262011

Occupational Eye Injuries Experienced by Migrant Farmworkers

Migrant farmworkers in North Carolina reported eye injuries, circumstances of injuries, and outcomes during lifetime U.S. agriculture work. Seventeen injuries were reported by 15 farmworkers; five resulted in lost work time. Most reported injuries were penetrating or open wounds, often caused by branches or other foreign objects. Injuries were seldom reported to employers; and treatment at clinics, when received, was often delayed.

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Tuesday
Nov222011

Farm Workers and Immigration Policy: A Briefing Paper by Bread for the World

For more than a century, agriculture has been an entry point into the labor market for immigrants in the United States. Presently, close to three-fourths of all U.S. hired farm workers are immigrants, most of them unauthorized. Their unauthorized legal status, low wages, and an inconsistent work schedule contribute to a precarious economic state.

Immigrant farm workers fill low-wage jobs that citizens are reluctant to take. Attempts to recruit citizens for farm worker jobs have failed. Domestic production of fruits and vegetables could decrease without immigrant farm workers.

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Tuesday
Sep202011

No Way to Treat a Guest: Why the H2A Agricultural Visa Program Fails U.S. and Foreign Workers

The federal program meant to provide a legal workforce for farmers to harvest crops in the absence of domestic labor has grown rife with abuse and lacks needed protections for the thousands of guest workers laboring to put food on America’s tables, according to a new report released today. The report by Farmworker Justice offers an in-depth look at the violations and abuses of the federal H-2A agricultural guest worker program, exposing the fundamental flaws of guest worker models and revealing the program’s effect of keeping wages low in the U.S. for both foreign and domestic workers. North Carolina has more H-2A guest workers than any other state. For North Carolina, which boasts an agricultural industry worth over $2.8 billion, the Department of labor certified 9,387 guest workers, or 95 percent of the applicants.

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Friday
Aug052011

Wages, Wage Violations, and Pesticide Safety Experienced by Migrant Farmworkers in North Carolina

Not only are migrant farm workers in North Carolina often exposed to hazardous pesticides that are damaging to their health, but a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that many of these same workers also face wage violations. The study, conducted by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, found that nearly 20 percent of all farm workers in North Carolina had experienced wage violations in their work and many didn’t even make minimum wage. The study also found an association between wage violations and pesticide safety regulation violations. In fact, two thirds of farm workers had not been provided with required pesticide safety training, and only half were informed when pesticides had been applied to the fields where they worked. The study is published in the journal New Solutions (Vol. 21). The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Northeast Center for Agricultural and Occupational Health.

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Wednesday
May252011

Fields of Peril: Child Labor in U.S. Agriculture

In this 99-page report, Human Rights Watch found that child farmworkers risked their safety, health, and education on commercial farms across the United States. For the report, Human Rights Watch interviewed 59 children under age 18 who had worked as farmworkers in 14 states in various regions of the United States.

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Tuesday
Oct262010

Biomarkers of Farmworker Pesticide Exposure in North Carolina

This policy brief documents farmworker pesticide exposure during the 2007 agricultural season in North Carolina. Based on these results, we present recommendations to improve safety and sanitation conditions for farmworkers. Urine samples were collected by Wake Forest University School of Medicine investigators from 284 farmworkers at monthly intervals during the period of May through August 2007. A total of 939 urine samples were provided by farmworkers and analyzed for pesticide urinary metabolites by the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

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Monday
Oct252010

Meeting the Requirements for Occupational Safety and Sanitation for Migrant Farmworkers in North Carolina

This policy brief describes migrant farmworker experiences with components of the US-EPA Worker Protection Standard and the OSHA safety and sanitation regulations. Based on these results, we present recommendations to improve safety and sanitation conditions for farmworkers. Information for this policy brief is based on data collected by Wake Forest University School of Medicine investigators from 255 migrant farmworkers who were interviewed at monthly intervals from May through August 2007.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Weeding out abuses: Recommendations for a law-abiding farm labor system

This report describes the employment laws that apply to farmworkers and the widespread violations of those laws by agricultural employers. Because the human faces of those who suffer these abuses are often lost in the statistics, this report tells the personal stories of several men and women who pick our fruits and vegetables; these accounts are not merely anecdotes but are representative of the reality.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Illnesses and Injuries Reported by Latino Poultry Workers in Western North Carolina

Poultry processing workers have some of the highest occupational injury rates of all U.S. industries. In 2004, close to 20,000 poultry workers nationwide reported occupational injuries or illnesses severe enough to miss work or seek medical care, for a rate of 7.8 per 100 full-time workers.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Overcoming Language and Literacy Barriers in Safety and Health Training of Agricultural Workers

The workforce in all areas of United States agriculture and forestry is becoming increasingly diverse in language, culture, and education. Many agricultural workers are immigrants who have limited English language skills and limited educational attainment. Providing safety and health training to this large, diverse, dispersed, and often transient population of workers is challenging.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Job Demands and Pesticide Exposure Among Immigrant Latino Farmworkers

The goal of this study was to understand the potential threat of job stressors to farmworker health. To accomplish this goal we studied pesticide exposure, an issue with immediate and long-term health consequences, and predictions from the Demands-Control model of occupational stress.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States

Unlike U.S. citizens, guestworkers do not enjoy the most fundamental protection of a competitive labor market — the ability to change jobs if they are mistreated. Instead, they are bound to the employers who “import” them. If guestworkers complain about abuses, they face deportation, blacklisting or other retaliation.

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