JUSTA: Justice and Health for Poultry Workers
Principal Investigator: Sara A. Quandt, PhD
The overall goal of this project is to address the health disparities faced by immigrant Latino poultry workers in rural, western North Carolina (NC), through a partnership (JUSTA-Justice and Health for Poultry Workers) of community advocates, environmental health sciences, and health care providers. Workers in the poultry industry in the U.S. experience a disproportionate share of occupation-attributed musculoskeletal, skin and respiratory disorders. Recent trends in this industry have concentrated the injuries in a worker population that is poor, minority, and comprised predominantly of immigrants. These workers are purposively recruited into jobs rejected by the local population, and lack the means to protect themselves from hazards. The exposures of workers also affect their families. To bring about greater social and environmental justice for these workers, the proposed work will have two loci: helping individual workers and their families to be more resilient to stressors, strengthening community-based organizations so that they can move toward social and regulatory change and justice.
Community advocates, health care providers and environmental health researchers will work together in this project to address five Specific Aims: 1) to encourage social action by Latino community-based advocacy groups in western NC to effect policies that reduce the burden of occupational and environmental health disparities due to employment in the poultry industry; 2) to construct the foundation on which to base educational materials and communication strategies designed to prevent or reduce exposure to physical and social occupational stressors and their effects among Latino poultry worker families; 3) to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials and implement programs that will promote ways to prevent or reduce exposure to physical and social occupational stressors and their effects among Latino poultry worker families; 4) to develop educational materials and implement programs that will better prepare health care providers to recognize and treat with cultural competence illnesses related to poultry production and processing among immigrant families, and counsel families on ways to prevent or reduce exposure; and 5) to evaluate the process and outcomes of community participation in this project so that it can be used by other community-based organizations to engage community residents in efforts to reduce environmental and occupational risks in their own communities.
Funder: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Quandt SA, Grzywacz JG, Marín A, Carrillo L, Coates ML, Burke B, Arcury TA. Illnesses and injuries reported by Latino poultry workers in western North Carolina. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2006; 49:343-351.
Grzywacz JG, Arcury TA, Marín A, Carrillo L, Coates ML, Quandt SA. Using lay health advisors in occupational health: Outcome evaluation in a sample of Latino poultry processing workers. New Solutions. 2009; 19:449-466.
Marín AJ, Carrillo L, Arcury TA, Grzywacz JG, Coates ML, Quandt SA. Ethnographic evaluation of a lay health promoter program to reduce occupational injuries among Latino poultry processing workers. Public Health Reports. 2009;124(Suppl 1):36-43