Engaging Guestworkers in Occupational Safety Research in Forestry
The southern US contains some of the most intensively managed forests in the world that provide the bulk of the nation's softwood lumber and pulp. There is a paucity of research on the burden of injury, illness, and fatalities among reforestation workers in this region. Latino guest workers make up more than 85% of the reforestation workforce in the region. Efforts to delineate health and safety risk factors associated with tree planters require employer/contractor buy-in and support from crew leaders and industry associations. A participatory approach to research is critical to the success of this study and recruitment efforts must be culturally sensitive to the needs of this work group.
At the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:
- Identify the burden of injury, illness and fatalities of reforestation workers in the southern U.S.
- Define the nature of the organization of work in this particular sector of forestry.
- Describe the reforestation workforce.
- List the socio-cultural factors that must be considered when engaging this population in research.
Vanessa Cassanova, PhD
Assistant Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Tyler
Dr. Cassanova serves as the Applied Research Manager for the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education. Dr. Casanova has extensive research experience with loggers and migrant and immigrant workers in the southern forest industry. Her work is broadly focused on the organization of work and its impact on safety and health outcomes and health disparities in the workplace.