This summer, seven agricultural health and safety projects will be carried out around the Western Region with funding from the Wester Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS). In March, WCAHS offered short-term funding through grants of up to $7,500 for research and outreach projects that address agricultural health and safety issues in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada.
Unauthorized immigrants who work in the U.S. lack access to basic rights and privileges. They face a constant threat of detention and deportation. They are also subject to discrimination, and they have little power in the workplace. These disadvantages and other disparities can pose problems for their mental and physical health.
New research is taking place at WCAHS, thanks to its Small Grant Program, which provides funds to graduate students and faculty members from around the region to carry out projects related to agricultural health and safety. An annual call for proposals is released each year. The 2017-2018 cycle closed in July with a total of 13 submissions, resulting in six proposals that were funded after a thorough external review process.
The California Heat Illness Prevention Study (CHIPS) received a research paper award at the June 2017 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health conference held in Logan, Utah.
The study is the first to conduct comprehensive physiological monitoring in Latino farmworkers in the USA and involved a number of WCAHS personnel, including study coordinator Diane Mitchell and WCAHS Founding Director Marc Schenker.
Helping Dairy Workers Reduce Their Exposure to Infectious Disease
We received exciting news this fall that an additional research project, “Reducing occupational exposure to zoonotic pathogens in California dairy farmworkers,” has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, increasing the number of primary WCAHS research projects to five.
Lower back pain is one of most serious health problems for farmworkers, and it can result from the intensive manual work that farming requires, such as carrying heavy objects or working long hours in a stooped posture.