Purpose This combined cross-sectional/cohort study addressed research gaps by estimating the rate of non-fatal occupational injury and identifying potential determinants among a population of adolescent farmworkers who are largely Hispanic and migrant.
Methods The cohort included 410 farmworkers (aged 13–19 years) attending high school in South Texas along the border with Mexico. Data collection involved a self-administered, Web-based survey that solicited information on demographics, farm work variables including person-time at risk, occupational injury, health status and health risk behaviours. Cox regression was used to identify potential risk factors for non-fatal injury events experienced during a 9-month recall period.
Results Depending on the definition of injury, the rate of non-fatal injury ranged from 27.0–73.6/100 full time equivalents. Variables with an increased and statistically significant HR in an adjusted Cox model included: age groups <15 years-old (5.82) and 16 years-old (4.47), usually sleeping <8 h during the week (2.10), feeling tense, stressed or anxious sometimes/often (2.25), not watching TV (2.65), working around ditches (2.01) and detasseling (2.70).
Conclusions The high observed rates of non-fatal injury combined with the potential negative consequences and cost of these injuries signifies a compelling need for injury prevention efforts targeting adolescent, Hispanic, farmworkers.
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