3-D jobs and health disparities: The health implications of latino chicken catchers' working conditions

Authors

  • Dr. Sara A. Quandt PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157.
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  • Alice E. Arcury-Quandt BA,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Emma J. Lawlor BA,

    1. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Lourdes Carrillo BS,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. HOLA of Wilkes County, Inc., Wilkesboro, North Carolina
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  • Antonio J. Marín MA,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Abstract

Objectives

This study uses qualitative data to describe the tasks performed by chicken catchers, their organization of work, and possible health and safety hazards encountered.

Methods

Twenty-one Latino immigrant chicken catchers for North Carolina poultry-processing plants were interviewed to obtain their perceptions of the job and its hazards. Interviews were recorded and transcribed (n = 10) or detailed notes recorded (n = 11). Transcripts and notes were subjected to qualitative analysis.

Results

Chicken catching takes place in a highly contaminated and hazardous work environment. The fast pace of work, low level of control over work intensity, and piece rate compensation all result in high potential for work-related injury and illness, including trauma, electrical shock, respiratory effects, musculoskeletal injuries, and drug use. Workers receive little safety or job training.

Conclusions

Chicken catching is characterized by a work environment and organization of work that promote injury and illness. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:206–215, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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