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Tomato Workers’ Health and Safety - A Guide for Health Care Providers


Tomato Workers Health Guide


Available in English and Spanish!


Created by MCN, medical student Rachel Kelley of UCSF, and collaborators at East Tennessee State University, this guide is intended to be a reference for health care providers who work with people employed in the U.S. tomato industry. It aims to prepare providers with a more detailed understanding of hazards, health issues, and work processes associated with different tomato industry jobs.

This guide draws on published research, experienced health professionals’ advice, and information gathered from interviews and focus groups conducted with 36 tomato workers from diverse backgrounds and 14 community leaders familiar with tomato workers’ health in multiple states. It is important to note that health and safety conditions at any particular farm or company may vary from what is described here. Furthermore, individual workers may experience the same set of conditions differently.

The first section of the guide focuses on health hazards and health conditions commonly encountered in tomato production. The second section consists of detailed descriptions and illustrations of different tomato production tasks. The third section covers “human resources” information and policies that apply to U.S. agricultural workers generally. The appendices contain a Spanish-English glossary, further detail about different types of pesticides, information about agricultural occupational health policies and regulation, and a list of resources and readings.

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