Get access

Upper body musculoskeletal symptoms of Latino poultry processing workers and a comparison group of Latino manual workers

Authors

  • Mark R. Schulz PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina
    • Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Haiying Chen PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dana C. Mora MPH,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Antonio J. Marín MA,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Maria C. Mirabelli,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sara A. Quandt PhD

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Disclosure Statement: Dr. Quandt has funding from the CDC/NIOSH (R01OH009251) to study occupational injuries in Latino poultry workers.

  • The authors have no competing financial interests.

Abstract

Background

Upper body musculoskeletal injuries are often attributed to rapid work pace and repetitive motions. These job features are common in poultry processing, an industry that relies on Latino immigrants. Few studies document the symptom burden of immigrant Latinos employed in poultry processing or other manual jobs.

Methods

Latino poultry processing workers (n = 403) and a comparison population of 339 Latino manual workers reported symptoms for six upper body sites during interviews. We tabulated symptoms and explored factors associated with symptom counts.

Results

Back symptoms and wrist/hand symptoms lasting more than 1-day were reported by over 35% of workers. Poultry processing workers reported more symptoms than comparison workers, especially wrist and elbow symptoms. The number of sites at which workers reported symptoms was elevated for overtime workers and workers who spoke an indigenous language during childhood.

Conclusion

Workplace conditions facing poultry processing and indigenous language speaking workers deserve further exploration. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:197–205, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary