Online Program

What's perceived, what's experienced, what's reported: A mixed-methods description of injuries on horse breeding farms

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Jennifer Swanberg, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Jess Miller Clouser, MPH, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Mary Marsh, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Susan Westneat, MS, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Deborah Reed, PhD, MSPH, RN, FAAOHN, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Animal production is a dangerous industry and increasingly reliant on non-English speaking workers. Within animal production, little is known about the risks or the occupational hazards of horse breeding, despite its presence in many states' agricultural economies. Extant research suggests that riders and farmhands are at risk of musculoskeletal and respiratory symptoms, kicks and other injuries. However, no known research has examined the occupational health of workers on horse breeding operations, particularly those reliant on an immigrant, often Latino, non-English speaking workforce. This paper identifies and describes the types of injuries experienced by horse breeding workers employed in one southeastern state, the circumstances surrounding recent injuries, and whether differences exist in injury type or frequency by demographic characteristics. Data were collected from horse farm owners, managers, or human resource personnel via a brief phone-administered survey; a 2-hour face-to-face semi-structured interview; and injury logs. Quantitative data were entered into Statistical Analysis Software and univariate/bivariate analyses conducted to report nature and frequency of injuries, including differences in ethnicity and farm size. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed, entered into ATLAS.ti, and analyzed by three coders to search for themes in injury and hazard perception. Preliminary results indicate that the horse itself is a major perceived hazard and cause of injury, though other maintenance tasks (e.g., fence repair, machinery operation) also feature prominently in each. Although Latino workers are more heavily represented on horse breeding farms, White workers were more likely to report injuries. Large farms seem more likely than small farms to report injuries.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the types of injuries and circumstances surrounding these injuries among workers employed on horse breeding farms; Identify variation in the incidents or patterns of injuries by demographic or farm characteristics.

Keyword(s): Latinos, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research on work organization for 20 years, with an emphasis on employer-engaged methods. For the last four years, I have led a research program focusing on the work conditions and occupational health of Latino farmworkers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.