Background Farmworkers in Florida's nursery and fernery industries have an elevated risk of exposure to chemical pesticides due to the enclosed nature of their workplaces and their close contact with pesticide-treated plant material. Farmworkers ' beliefs about chemical exposures and their perception of employer's or supervisor's valuing of safety may limit the practice of workplace hygiene. Methods Three hundred eighty-two surveys from workers in the nursery and fernery industries in North Central Florida were collected as part of the Together for Agricultural Safety (TAS) Project from 1999-2001. Univariate analyses and multivariate Ordinary Least Squares regression are used to examine the role of individual and structural characteristics on handwashing practices. Results Workplace practices such as the provision of written notices of recent pesticide application and the provision of convenient handwashing facilities are important predictors of workplace hygiene. Although farmworker attitudes and beliefs towards the utility of such practices and potential hazards are associated with behavior, they are less significant than the structural variables. Conclusions In order for farmworkers to engage in safety behavior that will protect their health, they must be adequately instructed and supported by employers and/or supervisors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health