Nav: Home

More Washington state agricultural workers injured in hot weather

October 07, 2016

Warmer weather is related to an increase in traumatic injuries for outdoor agricultural workers in central and eastern Washington.

These findings, which appear Oct. 7 in PLOS ONE, come from a study by researchers at the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries' Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) program.

The study is the first to estimate the risk of traumatic injury in farm workers using temperature data linked to the geographic location of the injury.

The researchers reported on more than 12,200 traumatic injury workers' compensation claims filed by agricultural workers from 2000 to 2012.

"Taken together with prior research in this area, our results suggest that we need to be proactive when it's warm outside, particularly when work is physically demanding, in order to prevent heat-related injuries as well as heat-related illness," said June Spector, lead author of the study and assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Internal body heat generated from physical exertion contributes to overall heat stress. One of the most well documented health effects of hot weather is heat-related illness. This can range from heat rash to heat stroke, which can be fatal.

"This study reinforces the importance of prevention," said David Bonauto, co-author of the study and research director of SHARP. "Employers need to provide plenty of fresh drinking water, start work as early in the day as possible, and encourage workers to take breaks and pace themselves."

In the case-crossover study, researchers identified the temperature and humidity at the approximate location of the injury on the injury day. To understand how heat may have been a factor in the injury, the researchers compared the heat and humidity on the injury day with days when there was no new injury for that individual working at the same work location.

The connection between heat and injury was not surprising to the researchers. With heat exposure, dehydration, and fatigue, a person can become less stable on their feet and have more difficulty concentrating. The exact mechanisms responsible for the increased risk observed need further study, Spector said.

The average daily maximum temperature between May and September during the twelve-year period studied was 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit, with temperatures at times exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add humidity and the weather can feel even hotter. Exertion also influences heat stress placed on the body. A cherry harvester, for example, has a physically demanding job that requires carrying and climbing ladders with bags of fruit. Being paid for work by the amount harvested can make the job more intense. This piece rate scheme can provide an opportunity for increased pay but also encourages workers to work harder and faster.

"Our findings underscore the importance of working together with workers and growers to identify and evaluate practical strategies that address the increased risk of injury that outdoor agricultural workers face in the heat," she said.

Washington state has workplace safety standards--in effect from May to September-- that address outdoor heat in agriculture. Legislation was recently passed to require paid rest breaks.

Financial support for the study was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
-end-


University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Related Health Articles:

Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks.
Generous health insurance plans encourage overtreatment, but may not improve health
Offering comprehensive health insurance plans with low deductibles and co-pay in exchange for higher annual premiums seems like a good value for the risk averse, and a profitable product for insurance companies.
The Lancet Planetary Health: Food, climate, greenhouse gas emissions and health
Increasing temperatures, water scarcity, availability of agricultural land, biodiversity loss and climate change threaten to reverse health gains seen over the last century.
With health insurance at risk, community health centers face cut-backs
Repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, combined with a failure to renew critical funding streams, would result in catastrophic funding losses for community health centers-forcing these safety net providers to cut back on services, lay off staff or shut down clinical sites, according to a report published today.
Study clusters health behavior groups to broaden public health interventions
A new study led by a University of Kansas researcher has used national health statistics and identified how to cluster seven health behavior groups based on smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, physician visits and flu vaccination are associated with mortality.
Tailored preventive oral health intervention improves dental health among elderly
A tailored preventive oral health intervention significantly improved the cleanliness of teeth and dentures among elderly home care clients.
Study finds that people are attracted to outward signs of health, not actual health
Findings published in the journal Behavioral Ecology reveal that skin with yellow and red pigments is perceived as more attractive in Caucasian males, but this skin coloring does not necessarily signal actual good health.
In the January Health Affairs: Brazil's primary health care expansion
The January issue of Health Affairs includes a study that explores a much-discussed issue in global health: the role of governance in improving health, which is widely recognized as necessary but is difficult to tie to actual outcomes.
University of Rochester and West Health Collaborate on d.health Summit 2017
In collaboration with West Health, the University of Rochester is hosting the third annual d.health Summit, a forum for health care and technology leaders, entrepreneurs, senior care advocates and policymakers to exchange ideas, create new partnerships, and foster disruptive technological and process innovations to improve the lives of the nation's aging population.
Study links health literacy to higher levels of health insurance coverage
The federal Affordable Care Act is intended to make it easier for individuals to buy health insurance, but are the uninsured equipped to navigate the choices faced in the insurance marketplace?

Related Health Reading:

The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness
by Frank Lipman M.D. (Author), Danielle Claro (Author)

New York Times Bestseller

Frank Lipman, M.D., is “at the vanguard of a revolutionary way to deliver medical care” (O, The Oprah Magazine). A leading expert in the field of functional medicine, Dr. Lipman focuses on the root causes of illness and guides his patients to the deepest, most lasting sources of wellness. In this book, he and coauthor Danielle Claro make life-changing health advice available to all. Their book offers the cutting-edge secrets to optimal health in a stylish, lushly illustrated format—a spoonful of beauty to help the wellness tips... View Details


A More Excellent Way, Be in Health: Spiritual Roots of Disease, Pathways to Wholeness (w/DVD)
by Henry W. Wright (Author)

The root of psychological and biological disease is spiritual. Pastor Henry W. Wright not only equips the church to defeat sickness, but he also demystifies it by showing, from God's perspective, why mankind has disease in the first place. The problem is not that God cannot heal disease or does not want to; the problem is that mankind does not understand disease.God's perfect will is not to heal you; His perfect will is that you won't get sick. A More Excellent Way is a valuable resource in assisting spiritual leaders, healthcare professionals, and all individuals in understanding the... View Details


Dr. Lani's No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide: The Truth About Density Testing, Osteoporosis Drugs, and Building Bone Quality at Any Age
by Lani Simpson DC CCD (Author), Claude Arnaud MD FACE (Foreword)

Part whistle-blower book, part bone health bible, Dr. Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide is the first consumer book to expose the shocking difficulty of getting an accurate bone density reading and the serious risks of long-term use of osteoporosis medications, which are often prescribed based on inaccurate readings. In addition to this vital information about bone density testing, Dr. Lani Simpson cuts through the confusion and inaccuracies surrounding osteoporosis and explains what readers can do now to build and maintain healthy bones for life. Dr. Simpson shares her... View Details


The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You!
by Adam Campbell MS CSCS (Author)

Revised edition includes 100 new exercises!

The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises is the essential workout guide for anyone who wants a better body. As the most comprehensive collection of exercises ever created, this book is a body-shaping power tool for both beginners and long-time lifters alike. This book contains hundreds of useful tips, the latest findings in exercise science, and cutting-edge workouts from the world's top trainers.

Backed by the authority of Men's Health magazine, this updated and revised edition features 100 new fat-loss exercises... View Details


The South Asian Health Solution: A Culturally Tailored Guide to Lose Fat, Increase Energy and Avoid Disease
by Ronesh Sinha MD (Author)

The South Asian Health Solution is the first book to provide an ancestral health-based wellness plan culturally tailored for those of South Asian ancestry living in India, the United States and across the world – a population identified as being at the highest risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and related conditions. Dr. Ronesh Sinha, an internal medicine specialist in California’s Silicon Valley, sees high risk South Asian patients and runs education and wellness programs for corporate clients. He has taken many South Asians out of the high risk, high body mass... View Details


Eat For Health
by Joel Fuhrman (Author)

Dr. Fuhrman's scientifically proven system enables you to finally conquer your cravings and food addictions, while steering your taste buds toward healthier food choices. But be aware of the side effects....you may experience reversal of diseases such as heart disease, headaches, allergies, high blood pressure and diabetes, and you will feel better than ever before! This book includes Dr. Fuhrman's ANDI food scoring system, with three phases of meal plans and 150 fantastic recipes. Start where you are comfortable and progress at your own pace or jump right into phase three to maximize weight... View Details


The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health: Dr. Rau's Diet for Whole Body Healing
by Thomas Rau (Author), Susan M. Wyler (Author)

Now in paperback: a world-renowned physician shares the secrets that draw international clients to his clinic.

For almost 50 years, people have traveled to the Paracelsus Clinic in the Swiss Alps. There, Dr. Thomas Rau's unique diet rejuvenates his clients, while preventing and curing illness. Lauded as "the Mozart of medicine," Dr. Rau is the world's foremost practitioner of biological medicine. At last, he reveals his unique Swiss health plan- a proven program based on the latest medical research that will:

? Purify the body
? Regulate pH balance
? Strengthen... View Details


Physical Examination and Health Assessment, 7e
by Carolyn Jarvis PhD APN CNP (Author)

With an easy-to-read approach and unmatched learning resources, Physical Examination & Health Assessment, 7th Edition offers a clear, logical, and holistic approach to physical exams across the lifespan. A total of 1,200 illustrations, checklists of key exam steps, and practical insights ensure that you learn all the physical exam skills you need to know. Written by Carolyn Jarvis, an experienced educator and clinician, this gold standard in physical examination reflects what is going on in nursing today with coverage of emerging trends and the latest on evidence-based practice.... View Details


Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior (Applications of Motivational Interviewing)
by Stephen Rollnick (Author), William R. Miller (Author), Christopher C. Butler (Author)

Much of health care today involves helping patients manage conditions whose outcomes can be greatly influenced by lifestyle or behavior change. Written specifically for health care professionals, this concise book presents powerful tools to enhance communication with patients and guide them in making choices to improve their health, from weight loss, exercise, and smoking cessation, to medication adherence and safer sex practices. Engaging dialogues and vignettes bring to life the core skills of motivational interviewing (MI) and show how to incorporate this brief evidence-based approach... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."