Agriculture - 1,538 entries found
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Hiba J.C., Ciciliani A., Cóppola A.
How to improve working conditions and productivity in farming and in the farm-derived products industry - Practical guide
Comment améliorer les conditions travail et la productivité dans les entreprises agricoles et agroindustrielles - Guide pratique [in French]
Cómo mejorar las condiciones de trabajo y la productividad en empresas agrícolas y agroindustriales - Guía par la acción [in Spanish]
This guide for small enterprises in farming and the farm-derived products industry in Argentina explains how to improve working conditions and productivity. It is divided into two sections. The first includes practical advice on the layout of premises and workplaces, work organization, materials handling and transportation, workplace design, safety of tools and machinery, environmental control and welfare facilities. The second part proposes tools for improving productivity (in particular the WISE system), a brief introduction to the most common dangerous chemicals and the efficient use of agrochemicals, together with checklists for implementing the improvements mentioned.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2005. 196p. Illus.
Video institucional [in Spanish]
CD-ROM containing several video clips on the activities of the Argentine union of dockers and rural workers (UATRE) and of its training and employment institute (ICE). Topics addressed: ICE programmes (literacy in rural areas, occupational safety and hygiene, training in politics and union matters); child labour (video clip and PowerPoint presentation); review of the highlights of the 14 years of existence of UATRE.
Unión Argentina de Trabajadores Rurales y Estibadores (UATRE), Reconquista 630, C1003ABN Buenos Aires, Argentina, ca 2005. CD-ROM.
Pastides H., Doll R., Acquavella J.F., Alavanja M.
Agricultural exposures and cancer
Compilation of papers presented at an international conference on agricultural exposures and cancer held in Oxford, United Kingdom, 19-22 November 2002, grouped under the three following headings: epidemiology of the relationship between agricultural exposure and cancer; exposure assessment; toxicology of agricultural exposures.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2005, Vol.31, Suppl.1, p.1-163 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Ortega Cruz M.C., Ríos Hoyos M.L., González Villarejo P.M., Ortiz Martínez M.L., Hurtado Rincón L.F.
Safety in the floriculture sector
Seguridad sector floricultor [in Spanish]
More than 94,000 persons are directly employed in the floriculture sector in Colombia, which also accounts for approximately a further 80,000 indirect jobs. This collection of articles addresses the current situation with respect to occupational safety and health in the floriculture sector. Contents: social development statistics; the Colombian floriculture sector as an example of good practice for ensuring workers' well-being; quality control and environmental management; the Florverde programme aimed at implementing an efficient environmental management system in flower production; working safely at height; personal protection programmes in the floriculture sector.
Protección y seguridad, Oct.-Nov. 2005, Vol.51, No.303, p.50-71. Illus. 3 ref.
Choi S.W., Peek-Asa C., Sprince N.L., Rautiainen R.H., Donham K.J., Flamme G.A., Whitten P.S., Zwerling C.
Hearing loss as a risk factor for agricultural injuries
To assess whether hearing impairment might increase the risk of agricultural injuries, 150 farmers participating in the Iowa Certified Safe Farm Study were studied between 1998 and 2002. Injury information was collected by telephone interviews. Hearing levels were measured annually using pure tone audiometry. Adjusted risk ratios of injuries were calculated using the multivariate Poisson regression model. Hearing loss in the better ear (RR=1.62), hearing asymmetry (RR=1.67) and poor self-reported hearing (RR=1.96) were significantly associated with the risk of occupational injuries. Exposure to noise increased the risk of injuries in those farmers with hearing loss or hearing asymmetry. Furthermore, the occasional use of hearing protection was significantly associated with occupational injuries.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2005, Vol.48, No.4, p.293-301. Illus. 51 ref.
Kumar A., Mathur N.N., Varghese M., Mohan D., Singh J.K., Mahajan P.
Effect of tractor driving on hearing loss in farmers in India
Indian tractors do not have adequate vibration and noise attenuating design features. In this cross-sectional study, 50 tractor-driving farmers and 50 non-driving farmers matched for age, sex, ethnic group, land holding, education levels and work routines were selected from two villages. Participants were interviewed for details of work routine and noise exposures, and were subjected to audiograms. Noise measurements were taken on tractors and other agricultural machines. Self-reported hearing problems were similar (four cases each) in both groups. However, audiogram analysis showed higher prevalence of high-frequency hearing loss in cases (24) when compared to controls (14). The noise levels observed on tractors in various operations were in the range of 90-110 dB(A).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.341-348. Illus. 21 ref.
London L., Flisher A.J., Wesseling C., Mergler D., Kromhout H.
Suicide and exposure to organophosphate insecticides: Cause or effect?
A literature review was performed of mortality and morbidity studies related to suicide among pesticide-exposed populations, and of human and animal studies of central nervous system toxicity related to organophosphate (OP) pesticides. Suicide rates are high in farming populations. Animal studies link OP exposure to serotonin disturbances in the central nervous system, a mechanism that is implicated in depression and suicide in humans. Various epidemiological studies conclude that acute and chronic OP exposure is associated with affective disorders. Other studies also support a causal association between OP use and suicide. It is concluded that OPs are not only agents for suicide, but may be part of the causal pathway.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.308-321. Illus. 132 ref.
Perry M.J., May J.J.
Noise and chemical induced hearing loss: Special considerations for farm youth
Farm youth face multiple risks for injury and illness in agriculture. This literature survey reviews evidence illustrating the noise and chemical exposure hearing risks that farm youth potentially face. Sources of noise and potentially toxic chemical exposures common in the farm environment are discussed. These exposures involve up to two million children in the USA and require both public and occupational health solutions. Since existing studies have not sufficiently explored potential ototoxic effects of these exposures on children and adolescents, recommendations are outlined for research characterizing both chemical and noise exposures to farm youth and their combined effects on hearing.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2005, Vol.10, No.2, p.49-55. 34 ref.
Fatal occupational injuries to older workers in farming, 1995-2002
Agricultural workers aged 55 years and older are at a higher risk of fatal occupational injury than their younger counterparts. The leading causes of fatalities are transportation accidents, contact with objects or equipment and assaults, including assaults by animals. This article presents the salient occupational injury statistics concerning older farm workers in the USA and discusses some of the key safety issues concerning this population.
Monthly Labor Review, Oct. 2005, Vol.128, No.10, p.38-46. Illus. 13 ref.
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/10/art5full.pdf [in English]
Miligi L., Aprea C., Settimi L.
Health risk and occupation in agricultural settings in Italy
This literature survey reviews studies on the association between cancer and occupation in agricultural settings in Italy, focusing on exposure to pesticides. Most of the cohort studies evaluated cancer mortality in licensed pesticide users. Several case-control studies considered haematolymphopoietic malignancies, and the most recent studies observed increased risks for use of specific chemical classes of pesticides. It is suggested that a national surveillance system should be implemented to identify areas at high risk and to promote exposure control programs.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan.-Mar. 2005, Vol.11, No.1, p.96-102. 52 ref.
Brucellosis - A persistent occupational hazard in Ireland
A cross-sectional study of exposure to B. abortus (brucellosis) was carried out among 375 technical and support staff of the Department of Agriculture in Ireland using the complement fixation technique (CFT). A CFT of <1:8 was accepted as normal, i.e., no evidence of exposure to Brucella abortus. Results were compared with available medical records to differentiate new from old or established cases. The participation rate was 75%. Ten participants tested positive. Veterinarians, laboratory staff, and workers based in meat plants were at increased risk of exposure. 106 previous results were available. Eight of those who tested positive had previously been tested, and of these, four had converted from negative to positive in the intervening five years, a conversion rate of 8/1,000 employees per annum. Results suggest that exposure to B. abortus remains common among at-risk occupational groups in Ireland.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2005, Vol.11, No.3, p.302-304. 6 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1103_Reid.pdf [in English]
Mancini F., Van Bruggen A.H.C., Jiggins J.L.S., Ambatipudi A.C., Murphy H.
Acute pesticide poisoning among female and male cotton growers in India
A season-long assessment of acute pesticide poisoning risk among cotton-growing farmers was conducted in three villages in India. Fifty female cotton growers reported symptoms after exposures to pesticides by themselves and by their male relatives. Typically female tasks such as mixing concentrated pesticides and refilling spraying tanks were as hazardous as direct pesticide application. Of 323 reported events, 83.6% consisted of mild to severe poisoning symptoms. Ten percent of the pesticide application sessions were associated with three or more neurotoxic symptoms typical of poisoning by organophosphates, which were used in 47% of the applications. Although in 6% of the spray sessions the workers' neurotoxic effects were extremely serious, none sought medical care. Low-income marginal farmers and agricultural labourers were at greater risk of severe poisoning than were owners of larger farms who often used agricultural labour.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2005, Vol.11, No.3, p.221-232. Illus. 38 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1103_Mancini.pdf [in English]
Aalto-Korte K., Susitaival P., Kaminska R., Mäkinen-Kiljunen S.
Occupational protein contact dermatitis from shiitake mushroom and demonstration of shiitake-specific immunoglobulin E
Shiitake are popular edible mushrooms all over the world. There are no previous reports of protein contact dermatitis (PCD) from shiitake, and there is only a single report of shiitake-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE). Two cases of shiitake growers who developed work-related eczematous eruption on their hands are described. Both of the patients had small prick test reactions to fresh shiitake, and specific IgE to shiitake was detected in their sera by immunospot. One of the patients had a large prick test reaction to dry shiitake and also a positive wheal reaction to fresh shiitake in an open application test. Neither of the patients had noticed any symptoms of contact urticaria at work. Both of the patients had immediate IgE-mediated allergy to shiitake, and the diagnosis of occupational PCD was made. There are no commercial in vitro tests for shiitake-specific IgE. It is therefore important to test for immediate allergy when shiitake contact dermatitis is suspected.
Contact Dermatitis, Oct. 2005, Vol.53, No.4, p.211-213. Illus. 10 ref.
Abu Mourad T.
Adverse impact of insecticides on the health of Palestinian farm workers in the Gaza Strip: A hematologic biomarker study
This study assessed biomarkers in 83 farm workers in the Gaza Strip using organophosphorus insecticides. Data on exposures and symptoms were collected by means of questionnaires. Serum cholinesterase and complete blood count were determined before and after spraying. Burning sensations in eyes and face (62.5%), itching and skin irritation (37.5%) and chest symptoms (29.2%) were reported. Serum butyryl-cholinesterase (SBuChE) was significantly decreased at the end of the workday. Burning sensations in eyes and face and skin rash were significantly associated with inhibition of SBuChE activity. Younger workers were more affected. Leukocyte and platelet counts were increased and haemoglobin decreased significantly, reflecting acute poisoning. Monitoring of SBuChE and haematological parameters of farm workers could be useful to predict and prevent health hazards from pesticides.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2005, Vol.11, No.2, p.144-149. 42 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1102_Mourad.pdf [in English]
Mills P.K., Yang R.
Breast cancer risk in Hispanic agricultural workers in California
Riesgo de cáncer de mama en trabajadores agrícolas hispanas en California [in Spanish]
In a registry-based case-control study of breast cancer in female Hispanic farm workers in California, 128 breast cancer cases diagnosed in 1988-2001 and 640 cancer-free controls were investigated. Risk of breast cancer was not associated with work with any specific crops or commodities except mushrooms, where the adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 6.00. Controlling for covariates, adjusted ORs for breast cancer in quartiles of pesticide use were 1.00, 1.30, 1.23, and 1.41. Chlordane, malathion, and dichlorophenoxyacetic acid were associated with increased risk. Risk associated with chemical use was stronger in younger women, those with early-onset breast cancer, and those diagnosed between 1988 and 1994.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2005, Vol.11, No.2, p.123-131. 48 ref. (Spanish version: Internet document, 30p.)
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1102_Mills_es.pdf [in Spanish]
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1102_Mills.pdf [in English]
Mackiewicz J., Machowicz-Matejko E., Sałaga-Pylak M., Piecyk-Sidor M., Zagórski Z.
Work-related, penetrating eye injuries in rural environments
The records of 182 patients with penetrating eye injuries being treated in an eye hospital in Lublin, Poland, between 1994 and 2002 were reviewed. 28 of the eye injuries were in agriculture. Results were analysed by age, gender, seasonal variation, cause of injury, place of entry wound, visual acuity and complications of the injury. Most of the injuries were the result of repair and maintenance work (35.7%), wood chopping (25%), machine operation (17.9%), operation of simple tools (10.7%), falls (7.1%) and goring by a cow (3.6%). The study revealed the high risk of this type of injury in rural areas.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2005, Vol.12, No.1, p.27-29. Illus. 12 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/1227.pdf [in English]
Gawora-Ziółek M., Jurewicz J., Hanke W.
Exposure to pesticides among pregnant women working in agriculture
Ekspozycja na pestycydy kobiet w ciąży pracujących w rolnictwie [in Polish]
A survey of potential pesticide exposure was carried out among pregnant women working in agriculture. The women provided information about their work in the field, pesticide spraying, preparation of spraying equipment and pesticide mixtures and washing of clothes after spraying. The survey revealed potential hazards to the women resulting from their exposure to pesticides both at work and at home. Results indicate the need to estimate actual exposure using biological monitoring.
Medycyna pracy, 2005, Vol.56, No.3, p.197-204. 22 ref.
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)
Training resource pack on the elimination of hazardous child labour in agriculture
This training resource pack aims to help farmer trainers to plan and run training activities with farmers, to raise awareness among farmers and their communities about the problem of child labour, to provide information on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, to help farmers improve occupational safety and health on their farms and to promote the implementation of relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations. It comprises three books: a trainer's guide; training course activities for farmers; and additional resources for trainers (tackling OSH by strengthening risk management, risk assessment, specific hazards and risks to child labourers in agriculture).
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2005. 3 booklets: x, 74p., 20p., iv, 54p. Illus.
http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/public/english/standards/ipec/doc-view.cfm?id=1759 [in English]
Workers' response to the use of pesticides in banana production
La respuesta de los trabajadores al uso de plaguicidas en la producción bananera [in Spanish]
Published by the National Federation of Food Industry Workers, Farmers and Free Indigenous Populations of Ecuador (FENACLE), this leaflet describes eleven actions that banana production workers may adopt for the protection against the risks related to pesticide exposure. These actions include selecting a pesticide with low toxicity, training in correct pesticide use, inclusion of an article on occupational safety and health in collective employment contracts, insisting on compliance with existing legislation and organizing occupational safety and health on the plantations.
Fenacle Nacional, Gayaquil, Rumichaca 2206 y Manabí, Edificio Monterrey, 4to piso oficina 4-5, Quito, Ecuador, ca 2005. 6p. Illus.
Exposure to pesticides and workers' health in banana production
La exposición a plaguicidas y la salud de los trabajadores en la producción bananera [in Spanish]
Published by the National Federation of Food Industry Workers, Farmers and Free Indigenous Populations of Ecuador (FENACLE), this leaflet describes the health risks resulting from pesticide exposure and the effects of environmental pollution in banana production. Pesticides used in banana production in Ecuador are listed, citing the hazard class of each substance. While the country has adopted occupational safety and health legislation, it is rarely enforced in this sector of activity.
Fenacle Nacional, Gayaquil, Rumichaca 2206 y Manabí, Edificio Monterrey, 4to piso oficina 4-5, Quito, Ecuador, ca 2005. 6p. Illus.
Health at work and within the community in the banana producing sector
La salud en el trabajo y la comunidad en el sector bananero [in Spanish]
Published by the National Federation of Food Industry Workers, Farmers and Free Indigenous Populations of Ecuador (FENACLE), this leaflet describes the risk factors related to the various tasks involved in banana production, their likely effects and the preventive measures to be adopted. The main risk factors include pesticide poisoning, excessive physical workloads and manual lifting. The terms used are explained in a glossary.
Fenacle Nacional, Gayaquil, Rumichaca 2206 y Manabí, Edificio Monterrey, 4to piso oficina 4-5, Quito, Ecuador, ca 2005. 6p. Illus.
Manual on safety, health and the environment in banana production
Manual de seguridad, salud y ambiente en la producción bananera [in Spanish]
Published by the National Federation of Food Industry Workers, Farmers and Free Indigenous Populations of Ecuador (FENCALE), this manual addresses the problems related to occupational safety and health and environmental protection in banana production. It describes the working conditions and environment, the risk factors faced during the various tasks, the modes of exposure to these risks and the effects on workers' health, together with the preventive measures to be adopted and the legal framework for protecting workers and the environment.
Fenacle Nacional, Gayaquil, Rumichaca 2206 y Manabí, Edificio Monterrey, 4to piso oficina 4-5, Quito, Ecuador, 2005. 72p. Illus.
Idrovo A.J., Sanin L.H., Cole D., Chavarro J., Cáceres H., Narváez J., Restrepo M.
Time to first pregnancy among women working in agricultural production
This study explores risk factors potentially associated with reduced fertility among women working in cut flower production. A cross-sectional study of time to first pregnancy was undertaken in 47 Colombian floriculture companies. 2,085 women were interviewed regarding potential reproductive, lifestyle and work history predictors of time-to-pregnancy (TTP), measured in months. Fertility odds ratios (FORs) were estimated for various factors associated with longer TTPs. Reduced FORs were found for the several factors, including work in flower production, less than 24 months (FOR 0.86) or two years or more (FOR 0.73).
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, July 2005, Vol.78, No.6, p.493-500. 45 ref.
Earle-Richardson G., Jenkins P., Fulmer S., Mason C., Burdick P., May J.
An ergonomic intervention to reduce back strain among apple harvest workers in New York State
The impact of modifications to the apple picking bucket on common picking postures, self-reported comfort, ease of use and speed of harvest was examined for 14 apple pickers. The modification consisted of attaching the bucket to a hip belt in addition to the shoulder strap, ensuring a better load distribution. Subjects wore the modified system and their postures were recorded during their work. The modification did not significantly alter time spent in the various postures. 78.6% of interviewed workers preferred the modified bucket, 71.4% noted a difference in the back, neck, or shoulder, while 64.3% said regular use of the modified bucket would slow their work. The modified bucket seems to be generally acceptable to workers, but needs further development to overcome unintended effects.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2005, Vol.36, No.3, p.327-334. Illus. 18 ref.
Lambert G.P., Spurzem J.R., Romberger D.J., Wyatt T.A., Lyden E., Stromquist A.M., Merchant J.A., Von Essen S.G.
Tumor necrosis factor-α hyper-responsiveness to endotoxin in whole blood is associated with chronic bronchitis in farmers
Many farmers present respiratory problems that may be related to workplace inhalation of organic dust containing endotoxins. The purpose of this study was to determine whether blood cytokine responsiveness to endotoxin is associated with respiratory disorders. 95 farmers completed a respiratory symptom questionnaire and were subjected to spirometry and blood sampling. Blood was incubated 24 hours in the presence and absence of endotoxin and analyzed for tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Hypo- or hyper-responsiveness to endotoxin was based on whether cytokine values were in the lower or upper 10% of the group range, respectively. A significant association existed between TNF-α hyper-responsiveness and chronic bronchitis. These results indicate that the blood cytokine assay may be useful to identify persons at risk of developing bronchitis following exposure to organic dust at the workplace.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2005, Vol.10, No.1, p.39-44. 30 ref.
Carrier G., Brunet R.C., Bouchard M., Gosselin N.H., Dumoulin M.J., Bonvalot Y.
Evaluation of human exposure to organophosphates and the associated risks by means of urinary biomarkers
Evaluation de l'exposition humaine aux organophosphorés et des risques associés à l'aide de biomarqueurs urinaires [in French]
Approximately 200 organophosphates are sold as insecticides and used by workers in agriculture, horticulture, public health pest control, forestry, landscape maintenance and various other sectors. No method currently exists for estimating the quantity actually absorbed following occupational exposure to these substances. Using modelling and a review of existing data, a simple and effective screening tool capable of detecting exposure levels below those causing toxic effects was developed. It consists of a urine biomarker test that evaluates the quantity of organophosphate actually absorbed by the worker. It may be used for prevention programmes, for developing exposure evaluation protocols and for establishing re-entry times after organophosphate exposure.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2005. vii, 73p. Illus. 93 ref. Price: CAD 7.49. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-406.pdf [in French]
Aalto-Korte K., Lauerma A., Alanko K.
Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from lichens in present-day Finland
Lichens are abundant in forests, living on trees, soil, stones and rocks. They contain usnic acid and other lichen acids that are contact allergens. Lichens and liverworts cause woodcutter's dermatitis, a form of eczema that appears in the forest on the bare skin areas, especially in cold and wet weather. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from lichens occurs in forestry and horticultural workers and among pickers of lichens used in fragrances. Lichens can cause immediate allergy, contact urticaria, rhinitis and asthma and probably also photo-allergic contact dermatitis. Lichens are used for the manufacture of oak moss absolute, a fragrance constituent that is one of the commonest contact allergens. Four cases of occupational allergic contact dermatitis from lichens in Finland during the past decade, two in farmers and two in gardeners, are described.
Contact Dermatitis, Jan. 2005, Vol.52, No.1, p.36-38. 15 ref.
Ferguson Carlson K., Goodwin Gerberich S., Church T.R., Ryan A.D., Alexander B.H., Mongin S.J., Renier C.M., Zhang X., French L.R., Masten A.
Tractor-related injuries: A population-based study of a five-state region in the Midwest
Tractor-related injuries are among the most severe of agricultural injuries. This study on tractor-related injuries identified the incidence, consequences and potential risk factors for tractor injuries among 3,765 agricultural households in a five-state region. Demographic, injury and exposure data were collected during 1999 using telephone interviews. A causal model served as a basis for survey design, data analysis and interpretation of results. The overall injury rate was 9.6 events per 1000 persons per year. Increased personal risk was observed for males and prior agricultural injury experience. Compared with ages 35-44, decreased risks were identified for younger age groups.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2005, Vol.47, No.3, p.254-264. Illus. 40 ref.
Parry J., Barnes H., Lindsey R., Taylor R.
Health and Safety Executive
Farmers, farm workers and work-related stress
This report describes a study involving interviews with 60 key informants and members of farming communities in five locations across England and Wales. The study explored the ways in which stress affects farming communities, how this has changed in recent years, and the extent to which work-related aspects of stress can be disaggregated from broader characteristics of the farming experience, in assessing the kinds of support interventions likely to be most useful. The holistic perspective taken by this research has enabled an examination of the effects of stress in relation to people's different roles on farms.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2005. xiii, 114p. Illus. 36 ref.Price: GBP 20.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr362.pdf [in English]
Arroyo Aguilar R., Ynoñan García P., Yupanqui Atahualpa L., Hermoza Lanao A.
Working conditions and health of women in the Peruvian asparagus industry in the region of Ica
Condiciones de trabajo y salud de las mujeres trabajadoras de la agroindustria del espárrago, región Ica [in Spanish]
The asparagus industry of Peru is one of the most important non-traditional export sectors. This study was carried out in the region of Ica with the aim of collecting information on conditions of work in this sector, which employs a high proportion of women both in the fields and in the packaging industry. The study was carried out in three phases. A first phase consisted in defining the characteristics of work processes in the asparagus food industry, both in the processing plants and in the fields, together with the possible hazards and effects on health. Next, an ergonomic analysis of the tasks was conducted. Finally, the social and economic implications for women working in this sector were examined.
Instituto de salud y trabajo (ISAT), Av. Almado Márquez 1875, Jesus María, Lima, Peru, 2004. 55p. Illus.
Van Maele-Fabry G., Willems J.L.
Prostate cancer among pesticide applicators: A meta-analysis
This literature survey investigated the occurrence of prostate cancer in pesticide applicators. Relative risks (RRs) found in 22 were pooled. Findings are discussed. The pooled RR of 1.24 for prostate cancer in agricultural pesticide spraying provides evidence of a possible relationship between pesticide exposure and prostate cancer. The homogeneity observed between the individual study rate ratios, after the data had been regrouped according to geographic location, tends to increase the consistency of the association. However, the data available from the individual studies do not provide sufficient exposure information for firm conclusions to be drawn about pesticide exposure as the cause of prostate cancer.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nov. 2004, Vol.77, No.8, p.559-570. Illus. 77 ref.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/xl4yxw2ax3uj0bwq/fulltext.pdf [in English]
Alcóser M., Forastieri V
Working and environmental conditions of child labour in agriculture: Method of investigation
Condiciones y medio ambiente del trabajo infantil en la agricultura: Metodología de investigación [in Spanish]
According to ILO estimates, the worldwide working population includes some 350 million children. This document presents an approach for studying the working conditions and environment for children in the agricultural sector. Contents: introduction to child labour in the agricultural sector in Central America; theoretical framework on which the approach is based; description of the approach; tools used; evaluation guide (data collection); matrix of the processes; overview and mapping of risk factors.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2004. 95p. Illus. 14 ref.
http://portal.oit.or.cr/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=sst/trab_infantil/meto_agri.pdf [in Spanish]
Gunningham N., Healy P.
Regulation by stealth: Reducing the OSH impact of pesticides
Exposure to pesticides poses a serious threat to the health of agricultural workers worldwide. Regulatory reforms at the national level may somewhat mitigate the problem. However, this article argues that greater opportunities for improving pesticide safety lie outside the boundaries of the traditional regulatory system, through harnessing the potential of new agricultural and pest control technology, the market forces driving global food production and the powerful forces within civil society capable of changing attitudes to risk and safety. These instruments are most successful when they form part of an integrated strategy underpinned by regulation and state intervention. Governments nonetheless have a pivotal role in harnessing and shaping these forces to improve pesticide safety.
Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 2004, Vol.2, No.2, p.25-42. 49 ref.
Time of farmers' exposure to biological factors in agricultural working environment
In a study of 30 farms, the duration of farmers' exposure to biological and other factors of the working environment was investigated using the Private Farmer Work Chart. Among 48 work activities contributing to the full annual work cycle, 15 activities were associated with 5 risk factors. These were mainly field activities (plant harvesting and fertilizing, chemical plant protection, cultivation activities). Exposure to agricultural dust and elements of the thermal environment were the most common risk factors, followed by contact with biological factors, noise, vibration and chemical agents. Biological factors were associated with nearly 60% of farm activities, mainly the spreading of manure, animal breeding and plant harvesting.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2004, Vol.11, No.1, p. 85-89. Illus. 32 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/11085.pdf [in English]
Mohan D., Kumar A., Patel R., Varghese M.
Development of safer fodder-cutter machines: A case study from north India
Fodder-cutter machines are used daily by farmers and their families in India for the preparation of fodder for their livestock. An epidemiological study carried out among farming communities in northern India showed that all age groups sustained fodder-cutter injuries while operating the machine, and around half of the victims were children below 15 years of age. The injuries led to a large number of limb amputations among persons operating or playing with the machine. A detailed study of injuries and machine characteristics resulted in a safer fodder-cutter design. The improvements described in this article are cost effective and can be incorporated in both existing and new fodder-cutter machines.
Safety Science, Jan. 2004, Vol.42, No.1, p.43-55. Illus. 18 ref.
Hossain F., Pray C.E., Lu Y., Huang J., Fan C., Hu R.
Genetically modified cotton and farmers' health in China
This study provides the first evidence of a direct link between the adoption of a genetically modified crop and improvements in human health. Estimation of the impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton adoption on pesticide use from a survey of cotton farmers in northern China, 1999-2001, showed that Bt cotton adoption reduced pesticide use. Assessment of a health-production function showed that predicted pesticide use had a positive impact on poisoning incidence. Taken together, these results indicate that the adoption of Bt cotton can substantially reduce the risk and the incidence of poisonings.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2004, Vol.10, No.3, p.296-303. Illus. 8 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/1003_Hossain.pdf [in English]
Jirachaiyabhas V., Visuthismajarn P, Hore P., Robson M.G.
Organophosphate pesticide exposures of traditional and integrated pest management farmers from working air conditions: A case study in Thailand
Concentrations of organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos and methyl parathion, were measured in ambient air breathed by farmers in a region of Thailand. Exposure levels were assessed and a comparison was made between the levels of pesticide exposure of traditional and integrated pest management (IPM) farmers. Thirty-three air samples were collected during pesticide spraying. Traditional farmers were exposed to higher levels of the pesticides, with an average concentration of 0.19mg/m3, compared with 0.037mg/m3 for the IPM farmers. It was estimated that farmers would be exposed to 81-12,261mg of the organophosphate pesticides via inhalation throughout their lifetime. Moreover, traditional farmers absorbed more pesticides via inhalation than did IPM farmers.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2004, Vol.10, No.3, p.289-295. Illus. 13 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/1003_Jirach.pdf [in English]
Andersen C.I., Von Essen S.G., Smith L.M., Spencer J., Jolie R., Donham K.J.
Respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in swine veterinarians: A persistent problem
This cross-sectional study was conducted during the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting. The 122 subjects (median age 42.5 years) completed a respiratory symptom and work history questionnaire and performed spirometry. Work-related symptoms included rhinitis (69%), cough and chest tightness (53%) and wheezing (31%). Airway obstruction was seen in 24% of participants. Veterinarians with airway obstruction reported working more hours per week in hog barns than did practitioners with normal pulmonary function.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2004, Vol.46, No.4, p.386-392. 49 ref.
Palmberg L., Larsson B.M., Sundblad B.M., Larsson K.
Partial protection by respirators on airways responses following exposure in a swine house
Exposure to swine dust leads to intense airway inflammation and increased bronchial responsiveness. This study evaluated the effect of respirator use during exposure in a swine confinement building. 22 subjects, of whom 11 wore respirators, were exposed. Before and seven hours after exposure, symptoms and body temperature were recorded, and a nasal lavage and a bronchial methacholine challenge were performed. For exposure assessment, a nasal sampler was evaluated. The subjects wearing respirators showed an attenuated inflammatory nasal response. An increase in bronchial responsiveness was observed in both groups, significantly greater in the unprotected group. The use of respirators reduced endotoxin exposure by more than 90% (assessed by nasal samplers).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2004, Vol.46, No.4, p.363-370. Illus. 29 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Tractor action - A step-by-step guide to using tractors safely
On average, ten persons die and hundreds are injured each year in tractor accidents in the United Kingdom. This safety training guide presents safety procedures for users of tractors or tractor-operated machinery. It is designed for use by safety trainers, both in agricultural colleges and in workplace-based training. It includes safety checklists, case descriptions of accidents and questions for self-appraisal of the understanding of safety issues.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2nd ed., Jan. 2004. iv. 28p. Illus. 19 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg185.pdf [in English]
Rothstein D., Firth H., Herbison P., McBride D.
Chemical use among farmers
This study describes chemical use patterns and effects on health among a random sample of 586 New Zealand farmers in one of four sectors (dairy, pastoral, arable and horticultural). Of the respondents, 87.4% reported using chemicals, classified into 35 categories, with glyphosates and detergents being the most commonly used. Over 50% of the chemicals were sprayed, 19.8% of farmers self-rating their exposure as medium-high. One-fifth of users reported one or more acute illnesses associated with chemical exposure, with over half of these being neurological or respiratory. Use of personal protective equipment was generally low.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Oct.2004, Vol.20, No.5, p.459-464. 30 ref.
Forst L., Lacey S., Chen H.Y., Jimenez R., Bauer S., Skinner S., Alvarado R., Nickels L., Zanoni J., Petrea R., Conroy L.
Effectiveness of community health workers for promoting use of safety eyewear by Latino farm workers
To evaluate the Community Health Worker (CHW) model as a tool for reducing eye injuries in Latino farm workers, 786 workers on 34 farms were divided into three groups: group A, where CHWs provided protective eyewear and training to the farm workers; group B where CHWs provided eyewear but no training to farm workers; group C, where eyewear was distributed to farm workers with no CHW present and no training. Pre- and post-intervention questionnaires demonstrated greater self-reported use of eyewear in all groups after the intervention, with group A showing the greatest change. This was supported by field observations. Group A also showed the greatest improvement in knowledge on questions related to training content. CHWs were found to be an effective tool for training farm workers in eye health and safety.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 2004, Vol.46, No.6, p.607-613. 26 ref.
Hurst P., Kirby P.
Health, safety and environment: A series of trade union education manuals for agricultural workers
The six manuals presented have been developed to help agricultural workers' representatives provide training programmes on health, safety and environmental issues for their affiliated members. Contents: educator's guide; health, safety and environment for "grassroots" members; health, safety and environment for workers' representatives; health, safety and environment fact sheets; pesticides; how to ratify and use ILO Convention 184 on safety and health in agriculture, 2001.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2004. xiv, 327p. Illus. (Binder containing 6 manuals).
Scarlett A.J., Stockton A.D., Price J.S., Bacon J.M.
Health and Safety Executive
Structural deterioration of tractor safety cabs with age
This investigation was undertaken to determine the prevalence, structural severity and practical implications of the deterioration over time of tractor roll-over protective structures (ROPS). A detailed survey of levels of deterioration of approximately 400 tractors manufactured in the period 1970-1990 was conducted at used agricultural equipment auctions in the United Kingdom. The cabs of seven representative used tractors were partially dismantled to enable detailed visual inspection of deterioration and corrosion present. Five of these vehicles were subsequently subjected to a ROPS structural testing procedure. The implications of the findings are discussed.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2004. vi, 84p. Illus. 10 ref. Price: GBP 25.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr251.pdf [in English]
Nag P.K., Nag A.
Drudgery, accidents and injuries in Indian agriculture
Indian farming employs a workforce of 225 million. Among occupational accidents in this sector, tractor incidents (overturning, falling off tractors, etc.) were the most frequent (27.7%), followed by accidents involving threshers (14.6%), sprayer/dusters (12.2%), sugarcane crushers (8.1%) and chaff cutters (7.8%). Most fatal accidents are caused by powered machinery, with an annual fatality rate estimated at 22 per 100,000 workers. Hand tool-related injuries (8% of the total accidents) are non-fatal in nature. Proposals are made for improving occupational safety in Indian agriculture.
Industrial Health, Apr. 2004, Vol.42, No.2, p.149-162. Illus. 66 ref.
Hanke W., Jurewicz J.
The risk of adverse reproductive and developmental disorders due to occupational pesticide exposure: An overview of current epidemiological evidence
This literature survey examines epidemiological studies on the association between parental occupation in agriculture and the incidence of infertility, congenital malformations, miscarriage, low birthweight, small-for-gestational-age birth, pre-term delivery and stillbirth. The findings suggest the need to increase awareness of workers who are occupationally exposed to pesticides about their potential negative influence on fertility and pregnancy outcome. Furthermore, in the light of existing although still limited evidence of adverse effects of pesticide exposure on fertility during the pre-conceptual period, the exposure to pesticides should be reduced at all times.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2nd quarter 2004, Vol.17, No.2, p.223-243. 80 ref.
Hartman E., Frankena K., Oude Vrielink H.H.E., Nielen M., Metz J.H.M., Huirne R.B.M.
Risk factors associated with sick leave due to work-related injuries in Dutch farmers: An exploratory case-control study
This case-control study examines the occurrence of work-related sickness absenteeism among Dutch farmers, together with the corresponding epidemiological risk factors. It is based on absenteeism claims from 1998-2001 using data from an insurance institution. 899 cases and 3596 controls were selected. Most injuries (74%) were work-related. Bruises, sprains or stains and fractures were the most frequent injuries (63%). Multivariable logistic analysis shows that farmers working in dairy farming (OR=2.6) or pig husbandry (OR=2.7), older farmers (OR=1.48 per 10 years) and smokers (OR=1.7) were at increased risk. Contact with cows was significant factor within dairy farming (OR=1.7 per 500h) and working more than 60h per week a significant factor within pig husbandry. Possible preventive measures could include raising awareness among older farmers and smokers that they are at increased risk, and focusing on the risks associated with working with animals.
Safety Science, Nov. 2004, Vol.42, No.9, p.807-823. 41 ref.
Thelin A., Vingård E., Holmberg S.
Osteoarthritis of the hip joint and farm work
A group of 369 farmers with hip joint osteoarthritis were identified together with a matched control group of farmers without hip or knee problems. All were invited to an interview and physical examination. The following risk factors of osteoarthritis of the hip were found: working in larger dairy and swine operations; milking more than 40 cows daily (odds ratio OR=4.5 compared to farmers not working in dairy production); working more than five hours per day in animal barns over a long period of time (OR=13.3 compared to those who did not work with animals). However, working on large farms (>100ha) had a significantly decreased risk (OR=0.14 compared to working on smaller farms).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2004, Vol.45, No.2, p.202-209. 44 ref.
Lim G.W., Belton K.L., Pickett W., Schopflocher D.P., Voaklander D.C.
Fatal and non-fatal machine-related injuries suffered by children in Alberta, Canada, 1990-1997
To study non-fatal and fatal farm machinery injuries among children and adolescents raised on farms in the Canadian Province of Alberta, data were collected through the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Programme. Furthermore, selected death certificates and hospital data were audited to provide enhanced information about the circumstances of injuries related to farm machinery for farm persons aged 17 years and younger. 302 farm machinery injuries were recorded for the years 1990-1997. Of these, 14 resulted in death. All-terrain vehicles were the most common cause of injury, followed by tractors, and power take-offs. The predominant injury mechanism was entanglement, followed by falls from machines and being struck by a machine. Boys had significantly longer hospital stays than girls. There were significantly more injuries reported during the summer and autumn than during the winter and spring. Finally, annual injury rates dropped significantly during the study period from 119.9/100,000 in 1990 to 50.7/100,000 in 1997.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2004, Vol.45, No.2, p.177-185. Illus. 41 ref.
Kirrane E.F., Hoppin J.A., Umbach D.M., Samanic C., Sandler D.P.
Patterns of pesticide use and their determinants among wives of farmer pesticide applicators in the agricultural health study
Using questionnaire data from a cohort study of licensed pesticide applicators and their spouses, this study investigated patterns of pesticide use among 31,173 farmers' wives. 36% reported having never used pesticides during their lifetimes, whereas the 10% heaviest pesticide users reported lifetime use of three or more agricultural pesticides plus several commonly-used residential pesticides. Five categories were defined based on the degree of pesticide use, for which risk factors associated with each category were studied using logistic regression. Among the findings, farm women who reported the heaviest pesticide use could risk further pesticide exposure by engaging in household hygiene practices involving pesticides.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.46, No.8, p.856-865. Illus. 38 ref.
Lee K., Lawson R.J., Olenchock S.A., Vallyathan V., Southard R.J., Thorne P.S., Saiki C., Schenker M.B.
Personal exposures to inorganic and organic dust in manual harvest of California citrus and table grapes
The aim of this study was to evaluate the exposure to inorganic and organic dust during manual harvest operations of citrus fruit and table grapes. Personal exposures to inhalable dust and respirable dust were measured five times over the 4-month harvesting season. Dust samples for analysed mineralogy, respirable quartz, endotoxins and microorganisms. Exposures for citrus harvest had geometric means of 39mg/m3 for inhalable dust and 1.14mg/m3 for respirable dust. These exposures were significantly higher than those for table grape operations and exceeded the threshold limit value for inhalable dust and respirable quartz. Considered independently, these exposures may be high enough to cause respiratory health effects. However, exposures for table grape operations were lower than the threshold limit value, except inhalable dust exposure during leaf pulling.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2004, Vol.1, No.8, p.505-514. Illus. 25 ref.
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