Missed work due to occupational illness among Hispanic horse workers

Ashley M. Bush, Susan Westneat, Steven R. Browning, Jennifer Swanberg

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

2 Scopus citations


Occupational illnesses are inadequately reported for agriculture, an industry dominated by a vulnerable Hispanic population and high fatal and nonfatal injury rates. Work-related illnesses can contribute to missed work, caused by a combination of personal and work factors, with costs to the individual, employer, and society. To better understand agricultural occupational illnesses, 225 Hispanic horse workers were interviewed via community-based convenience sampling. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and log binomial regression modeling were used to: (1) describe the prevalence of missed work due to work-related illnesses among Hispanic horse workers, (2) examine work-related and personal factors associated with missed work, and (3) identify health symptoms and work-related characteristics potentially associated with missed work. Key findings reveal that having at least one child (PR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.03, 2.84), having poor self-reported general health (PR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.48, 1.08), experiencing stress during a typical workday (PR = 2.58, 95% CI = 1.25, 5.32), or spending less time with horses (PR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.15, 3.05) are significant predictors of missing work. Interventions can be designed to identify workers most susceptible to missing work and provide resources to reduce absenteeism. Future research should examine work-related illness in agricultural horse production, including personal and work-related factors, in order to diminish occupational health disparities among these workers, who are more likely to be employed in hazardous agricultural work.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Specialist publicationJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work presented in this article was supported by CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement No. 5U54OH007547-14. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC/NIOSH. The publication of this article was paid for by the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention. The authors thank the farmworkers who participated in this study, the four promotoras who collected data from them, and the industry and the community advisory council members who guided the project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 ASABE.


  • Agriculture
  • Health disparities
  • Horse workers
  • Missed work
  • Occupational illness
  • Worker absenteeism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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