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Article

“We Force Ourselves”: Productivity, Workplace Culture, and HRI Prevention in Florida’s Citrus Groves

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Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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Farmworker Association of Florida, 1264 Apopka Blvd., Apopka, FL 32703, USA
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Lutgert College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Blvd. S., Fort Myers, FL 33965, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Safety 2020, 6(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety6030041
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 25 August 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
Efforts to disseminate heat-related illness (HRI) prevention practices among Latino farmworkers represent a critical occupational safety strategy in Florida. Targeted initiatives, however, require understanding the workplace dynamics that guide agricultural safety behaviors. This article reports focus group data collected in 2018 from citrus harvesters in central Florida and provides an in-depth perspective on the workplace culture that shapes their implementation of heat safety measures. Results indicate that citrus harvesters regularly suffered HRI symptoms yet rarely reported or sought treatment for their injuries. In some cases, the risks of developing HRI were accepted as a facet of agricultural work and harvesters blamed themselves for their illnesses. Implementation of safety practices hinged less on knowledge than on the availability of water and rest breaks and the quality of employer-employee relations and exchanges. Thus, trust was a determinant of workers’ attitudes toward management that contributed to a harvesting operation’s safety climate. Results highlight the difficulties of putting into practice measures that are not rewarded by the workplace culture and suggest that the extent to which intervention strategies promote not only individual safety behaviors but organizational accountability may predict their effectiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural safety; farmworker; heat-related illness (HRI); injury prevention; Latino; workplace culture agricultural safety; farmworker; heat-related illness (HRI); injury prevention; Latino; workplace culture
MDPI and ACS Style

Morera, M.C.; Gusto, C.; Monaghan, P.F.; Tovar-Aguilar, J.A.; Roka, F.M. “We Force Ourselves”: Productivity, Workplace Culture, and HRI Prevention in Florida’s Citrus Groves. Safety 2020, 6, 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/safety6030041

AMA Style

Morera MC, Gusto C, Monaghan PF, Tovar-Aguilar JA, Roka FM. “We Force Ourselves”: Productivity, Workplace Culture, and HRI Prevention in Florida’s Citrus Groves. Safety. 2020; 6(3):41. https://doi.org/10.3390/safety6030041

Chicago/Turabian Style

Morera, Maria C., Cody Gusto, Paul F. Monaghan, José Antonio Tovar-Aguilar, and Fritz M. Roka. 2020. "“We Force Ourselves”: Productivity, Workplace Culture, and HRI Prevention in Florida’s Citrus Groves" Safety 6, no. 3: 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/safety6030041

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