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Development of safety guidelines for hired adolescent farm workers.

Lee-BC; Fisher-RM; Miller-M
J Agromed 2010 Jul; 15(3):316
The North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) were released in 1999 as a resource to assist parents in assigning farm jobs to their children 7 - 16 years of age, on family farms. Since that time, these guidelines have been proven to reduce the risk of agricultural injuries among family farm children by 50%. The NAGCAT were not intended for use in employment situations because they do not incorporate child labor regulations or reference the Hazardous Occupations Orders in Agriculture which restrict specific tasks in youth employment. This project addressed the gap in resources for employers who hire adolescents for agricultural work. Over a 10 month period, the project team reviewed NAGCAT for tasks pertaining to youth hired to work in agriculture. Only jobs for which adolescents are legally eligible for hire were included. Stakeholder imput was gathered to identify the most common agricultural tasks and NIOSH Child Agricultural Injury Surveillance data were reviewed to identify relevant tasks and major hazards. Guidelines were drafted based on the orginal NAGCAT child development principles. Content from NAGCAT resources was updated to reflect prevailing working conditions. During 2008 content and format was reviewed by peers, employers/supervisors, and growers with labor-intensive crops. Seven guidelines are now available in English and Spanish. Each poster addresses supervisor responsibilities for ensuring work conditions are appropriate and adequate and for assessing their teen workers. Training and supervision tips, specific to teens are provided. Each poster includes illustrations of main hazards and points to remember for quick reference. Finally, each poster includes pertinent federal regulations and referrals to obtain state-specific child labor regulations. This project is funded by NIOSH through the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety cooperative agreement. An intervention to test the usability of these guidelines among field supervisors is now underway.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Farmers; Families; Children; Humans; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Adolescents; Hazards; Training; Education
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Cooperative Agreement
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Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation