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A conceptual model of bundled risk communication and education to improve agricultural worker health and safety.

Shutske-JM; Schermann-MA; Wagstrom-L; Bender-JB; Kirkhorn-S; Powell-T
APHA 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts, November 4-8, 2006. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2006 Nov; :140861
Agricultural producers face a complex range of public health-related risks. Worker injury and illness is one issue that must be placed in context with an evolving and expanding list of concerns such as biosecurity, agroterrorism, antimicrobial resistance, food safety, infectious disease, and others. To compound this concern, producers face production risks such as volatile markets and weather. Existing literature suggests that considering all of these complex risks simultaneously and taking appropriate action is likely an impossible task for most people, or very difficult at best. Veterinarians and public health practitioners have a responsibility to assist producers in managing this complex risk environment. One potential solution to this growing concern of risk-related decision and information overload is to further explore the concept of "bundling" or aggregating risk communication and education for producers and their employees in a way that is more complimentary rather than treating each risk-related communication and decision process as mutually exclusive. Carefully designed worker health and safety programs should include biosecurity, personal and environmental hygiene (as a way of supporting food safety/quality efforts while also protecting animals and workers). Hiring and management practices that include matching worker capabilities with specific tasks and open communication has benefits for protecting workers from occupational hazards, but also helps protect against intentional threats posed by disgruntled employees. A conceptual model of risk aggregation in programs to improve agricultural worker safety and health, will be presented, along with other examples supported by existing literature.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Demographic-characteristics; Education; Epidemiology; Farmers; Injury-prevention; Public-health; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Worker-health; Work-operations; Work-organization; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Author Keywords: Agricultural Work Safety; Risk Communication
John M. Shutske, PhD, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108-6005
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APHA 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts, November 4-8, 2006
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities