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Papers of the Week

2020 Aug 12

New Solut

Occupational Hazards and Health and Safety Risks for Latino Tree Trimmers in the Pine Forest Industry.


Kearney GD, Berkner AN, Langley RL, Little R GN, Wambui DW
New Solut. 2020 Aug 12:1048291120947480.
PMID: 32787511.


A pilot project was conducted to evaluate the working conditions and work-related body pain among Latino immigrant tree trimmers ( = 57) in the commercial pine forest service industry. Participants were interviewed about personal and work characteristics, job-related occupational hazards, and body pain. A structured questionnaire and a body pain diagram were used as measures for evaluating associations between personal and work characteristics and body pain. The most common health complaints were physical exhaustion (80.7 percent) and headache (33.9 percent). The reported percent of work-related body pain was 54.4 percent. Statistically significant associations were identified between experiencing body pain in knees, working more than two years, and working more than six hours per day ( < .05) as a tree trimmer. Thorough clinical evaluations are needed to confirm these findings. Future research including a larger sample size and more in-depth evaluations are needed to better evaluate worker tasks, musculoskeletal risk factors, and safety climate issues among this highly vulnerable occupational group.