A video-based study of female Hispanic migrant workers in assembly-type operations from a biomechanical perspective

Christopher Michael Aguilar, University of Texas at El Paso


The pursuant study represents a significant opportunity for the improvement of migrant female worker occupational health, the groundwork for follow-up investigation in occupational health, and work design for multi-ethnic female work forces. The migrant Hispanic female workforce along the U.S.-Mexico border in general and the West Texas/Southern New Mexico area in particular is large. Many of these migrant workers obtain occupational disorders resulting from occupational repetitive stress disorder. It is hypothesized the latter is due to these female migrant workers, with smaller anthropometric profiles, working on equipment that is designed for the typical U.S. male worker. In addition, high indices of diabetes and osteoporosis in the migrant Hispanic female workforce historically oftentimes go unscreened until the diseases are in their later stages, and the diseases then contribute to the repetitive stress disorder. The subjects, workers at a pecan processing facility in Southern New Mexico, were screened for diabetes and osteoporosis. Further, thanks to the generosity of our industrial partner in this proposed research project, their work motions were measured and studied in vivo. The investigators will lay the groundwork for future research on the relationship between these diseases and the work parameters stipulated. Additionally, the investigators will provide the industrial partner an occupational disorder risk analysis, as well as work design tools that will help ameliorate the worker's exposure and will improve throughput and yield with a modest investment.

Subject Area

Biomedical research|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Aguilar, Christopher Michael, "A video-based study of female Hispanic migrant workers in assembly-type operations from a biomechanical perspective" (2003). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAIEP10350.