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Development of model biosecurity programs.

J Anim Sci 2001 Jul; 82(Suppl 1):120
Bio- and agricultural security programs designed to protect animal health and minimize risk often contain components such as facility access control, personal hygiene, sanitation, and animal quarantine/isolation protocols. Biosecurity protocols are often implemented using checklists that guide the user in the process of evaluating current practices and environmental/ equipment conditions. These checklists provide a basis for continuous improvement. We have learned in other areas of risk control that the most effective measures to reduce risk/loss involve efforts to eliminate potential hazards through equipment and system-level design rather than heavy reliance on human action and behaviors which can be highly variable and subject to competing motivations. This becomes increasingly important as animal agriculture becomes more reliant on a labor force that may include individuals with limited knowledge of animal production, animal health, or even a basic understanding of personal health behaviors and practices. Workers themselves may, in fact, be the most crucial link within a successful production security program. Being on the front lines of an operation, workers are in the best position to monitor environmental conditions, observe changes in animal health, suggest improvements, and provide an ongoing evaluation of an operation's biosecurity program. Other industries have recognized and embraced the role of the workforce in implementing quality control and improvement. Workers are also the ones who will have the first exposure to hazardous biological and chemical agents that could impact an operation. Thus, an effective biosecurity program should also have some means of monitoring and protecting worker health. Based on the few events in the U.S. where there have been intentional breaches of security within the food system, it is also clear that those in the labor force could also be involved in facilitating (or preventing) an event whether intentionally or otherwise. So, biosecurity programs, educational materials, and checklists created in the future should encourage producers to engineer out potential hazards and should holistically consider the role of workers in implementing and providing continuous evaluation of biosecurity programs.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Animal-husbandry-workers; Animal-products; Animal-products-workers; Behavior-patterns; Biohazards; Biological-distribution; Biological-monitoring; Biological-transport; Biological-warfare-agents; Biotechnology-industry; Education; Educational-resource-centers; Equipment-reliability; Exposure-assessment; Farmers; Health-hazards; Health-protection; Injury-prevention; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Worker-health; Worker-motivation; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Biosecurity; Engineering; Labor
John M. Shutske, Workplace Safety & Health Specialist and AgrAbility Project Director, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Minnesota, 390 Eckles Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108-6005
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Journal of Animal Science
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities