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The NC Agromedicine Institute is a University of North Carolina Institute.

Member Universities:
East Carolina University
North Carolina State University
NC Agricultural & Technical State University
Use of Cultural Ergonomics Approaches to Prevent Pesticide Exposure
Project Name: Use of Cultural Ergonomics Approaches to Prevent Pesticide Exposure

Principal Investigators: Tonya Smith-Jackson, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, Industrial and Systems Engineering;
Michael Wogalter, PhD., NC State University, Department of Psychology

Project Type: Core Education/Outreach

Project Description: The project combines the disciplines of engineering, psychology, and cultural anthropology to identify the cultural factors that account for health disparities related to pesticide use, exposure, and perceptions of risk among ethnic minority farm workers. The project will apply an engineering strategy (information design) and a psychosocial strategy (user-centered assessment) to reduce the incidence of exposure among these groups.

Psychometric instruments assessing locus of control and self-efficacy will be used to compare risk perception of migrant and seasonal farm workers who are language and ethnic minorities to non-minority farm workers and draw inferences regarding factors that contribute to those differences. User-centered design guidelines for pesticide warning labels will then be developed and a heuristic evaluation of usability and effectiveness (treatment effects) will be conducted. User requirements and design specifications will be developed and disseminated to risk communication manufacturers, employers, health educators, safety and training groups, minority-serving agencies, and community-based advocacy and education groups.

Psychometric data will be analyzed using Path Analysis and Analysis of Variance to determine relationships, moderators, causal paths, and between group differences. Semi-structured interviews and elicitation methods will be used to extract design guidelines to produce effective pesticide warning labels. A heuristic evaluation of prototype designs will be combined with ratings and evaluations from ethnic minority farm workers. Finally, design and user requirements specifications will be disseminated to relevant groups.

The outcomes of this research will improve the design of risk communications aimed at reducing or eliminating hazards related to pesticide exposures among ethnic minority farm workers.

Project Accomplishments:

Outcome Assessment Report

Presentation: Use of Cultural Ergonomics Approaches to Prevent Pesticide Exposure

Brochure: Warning! Pesticides are Dangerous