Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Health

Advisor

Chester Jones

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, adult obesity has increased in the United States, especially among the Hispanic/Latino population. In 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Environmental and Safety News, reported that younger workers, ages 18 to19 years of age, worked in the most high-risk occupations such as agriculture, construction, fishing, and manufacturing. The reported fatality rates for these occupations were 5.6 times greater for Hispanic workers compared to other race/ethnicity groups reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013. This study determined whether obesity contributed to workplace injury or mortality in hazardous occupations, using federal, state, and independent national databases. The independent variable was obesity, the dependent variable was injury in hazardous occupations. In addition, age, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic level, educational level, and cultural context were used as mediating variables. The target population included all workers ages 18 to 65 years of age in hazardous occupations. Analysis of databases from NHANES, BRFSS, NIOSH, OSHA, and the BLS was conducted using descriptive statistics for frequency of the mediating variables' relationship to workplace injury. This study highlighted the prevalence of obesity in the Hispanic/Latino population and increased incidence of workplace injury in hazardous occupations, but found no significant relationship between the variables using the BFRSS Web Enabled Analysis Tool for linear regression and cross-tabulation. Establishing a relationship between obesity and increased injury for the Hispanic/Latino population in high-risk occupations for preventative measures will enhance positive social change within this underrepresented population in research.