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Employer, use of personal protective equipment, and work safety climate: Latino poultry processing workers

Authors

  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
    • Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157.
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  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Andrea M. Anderson MS,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Dana C. Mora MPH,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Lourdes Carrillo,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Haiying Chen MD, PhD,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Sara A. Quandt PhD

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
    2. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

This analysis describes the work safety climate of Latino poultry processing workers and notes differences by worker personal characteristics and employer; describes the use of common personal protective equipment (PPE) among workers; and examines the associations of work safety climate with use of common PPE.

Methods

Data are from a cross-sectional study of 403 Latino poultry processing workers in western North Carolina.

Results

Work safety climate differed little by personal characteristics, but it did differ consistently by employer. Provision of PPE varied; for example, 27.2% of participants were provide with eye protection at no cost, 57.0% were provided with hand protection at no cost, and 84.7% were provided with protective clothing at no cost. PPE use varied by type. Provision of PPE at no cost was associated with lower work safety climate; this result was counter-intuitive. Consistent use of PPE was associated with higher work safety climate.

Conclusions

Work safety climate is important for improving workplace safety for immigrant workers. Research among immigrant workers should document work safety climate for different employers and industries, and delineate how work safety climate affects safety behavior and injuries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:180–188, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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