Adoption of Safety Eyewear among Citrus Harvesters in Rural Florida

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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health




The community-based prevention marketing program planning framework was used to adapt an evidence-based intervention to address eye injuries among Florida’s migrant citrus harvesters. Participant-observer techniques, other direct observations, and individual and focus group interviews provided data that guided refinement of a safety eyewear intervention. Workers were attracted to the eyewear’s ability to minimize irritation, offer protection from trauma, and enable work without declines in productivity or comfort. Access to safety glasses equipped with worker-designed features reduced the perceived barriers of using them; deployment of trained peer-leaders helped promote adoption. Workers’ use of safety glasses increased from less than 2% to between 28% and 37% in less than two full harvesting seasons. The combination of formative research and program implementation data provided insights for tailoring an existing evidence-based program for this occupational community and increase potential for future dissemination and worker protection.