NIOSH Agricultural Safety and Health Centers
The Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention represent a major NIOSH effort to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. The NIOSH Agricultural Centers were established as part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative in 1990. The Centers were established by cooperative agreement to conduct research, education, and prevention projects to address the nation's pressing agricultural health and safety problems. Geographically, the Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the agricultural health and safety issues unique to the different regions.
- Develop and conduct research related to the prevention of occupational disease and injury of agricultural workers and their families.
- Develop and implement model educational outreach, and intervention programs promoting agricultural health and safety for agricultural workers and their families.
- Develop and evaluate control technologies to prevent illness and injuries among agricultural workers and their families.
- Develop and implement model programs for the prevention of illness and injury among agricultural workers and their families.
- Evaluate agricultural injury and disease prevention and educational materials and programs implemented by the Center.
- Provide consultation and/or training to researchers, health and safety professionals, graduate/professional students, and agricultural extension agents and others in a position to improve the health and safety of agricultural workers.
- Develop linkages and communication with other governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in agricultural health and safety with special emphasis on communications with other CDC/NIOSH sponsored agricultural health and safety programs.
The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS) at Colorado State University has an outstanding record of service to Public Health Region VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming). HICAHS has been nationally and internationally recognized for research on organic dust aerosols and respiratory disease, pesticides and tractor roll-over protective structures (ROPS) engineering. Education and outreach, built on strong partnership with Cooperative Extension, have served as national models. The mission of HICAHS is to reduce morbidity and mortality in the agricultural population and translate research knowledge into community action. This Center has also coordinated the Agriculture Center Evaluation Project.
NCCRAHS strives to enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The major focus is to translate research findings into practice and to move childhood agricultural safety knowledge into practice through sustained partnerships. The Center conducts research, education, intervention, prevention, translation and outreach activities to enhance the health and safety of children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The Center provides a wide range of services related to children and adolescents living in rural areas and working in agricultural environments. NCCRAHS has a track record of synergistic efforts addressing national priorities while involving a range of stake-holders. Since 1997, NCCRAHS has been a leader in: (a) building new partnerships, (b) conducting research with practical implications, (c) generating consensus on complex issues, and (d) producing resources deemed useful to multiple audiences.
The Northeast Center (NEC) is a collaborative effort of investigators from institutions throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic States. It is based at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) in Cooperstown, NY. NYCAMH was established by the New York Legislature in 1987 with funding to address research, educational and clinical consultative needs related to occupational problems in New York farming. Serving a twelve-state region from Maine through Delaware, NEC promotes farm health and safety research, education, and prevention activities. In partnership with other NIOSH centers, state and federal agencies, land grant universities, medical centers, and farm groups, NYCAMH/NEC uses injury and illness research findings to develop preventive teaching, educational health screening, demonstrations, interventions, engineering solutions and other related activities. NYCAMH/NEC's target audience includes: farmers and farm families, high school and college agricultural classes, vocational agriculture teachers, agribusiness and farm organizations, health professionals, engineers and safety specialists, members of the media and policy makers.
The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety(WCAHS) at UC Davis has made strides in areas of research, prevention/intervention and education/outreach. It is uniquely situated to address and affect the health and safety of farmers, farm family members, hired farm workers and their families because of its co-location with the UC Davis Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, its Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering, and the California’s Central Valley, one of Western agriculture’s most intensive and productive regions. WCAHS has taken a leadership role in addressing western agricultural health and safety issues, including health among migrant and seasonal (hired) farm workers, ergonomics of labor-intensive crop work, respiratory hazards in dry-climate farming, health of women and children in agriculture and pesticide safety. The public (general and agricultural) have been recipients of educational programs. WCAHS’ electronic communications (newsletter, list server) have expanded educational efforts of the center internationally.
The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (GPCAH) at The University of Iowa is a nationally recognized public health resource that develops and implements programs of research, intervention, translation, education, and outreach with the long-term goal of preventing occupational injury and illness among agricultural workers and their families.
The overall goals of the center are to:
- Conduct a multidisciplinary agricultural health and safety research program targeting national research priorities for agricultural health and safety.
- Develop and evaluate educational, outreach, and intervention programs to prevent disease, injury, and hazardous exposures among agricultural workers and their family members.
- Serve as a national resource for delivery of current agricultural health knowledge and expertise to industrial hygienists, epidemiologists, ergonomists, veterinarians, and physicians to enhance the national capacity to meet the agricultural health needs of the nation.
- Provide agricultural health and safety technical assistance and consultation in research methods, training, and education to health and safety professionals and community-based agricultural health organizations.
- Maintain and strengthen linkages with health professionals in academic institutions, state and federal agencies, and international organizations to promote agricultural health and safety research, training, and prevention programs
The Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention at the University of Kentucky is dedicated to developing and promoting transdisciplinary approaches to the occupational safety and health of agricultural workers and their families. The Center serves stakeholders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, and Virginia. Recognizing the multiple linkages affecting public health (IOM, 2001) and the importance of strategic systems thinking when addressing challenges in public health, the Center’s investigators and staff work closely with colleagues from the UK Colleges of Medicine, Agriculture, Nursing, Education, Communications, and Engineering, and with researchers and practitioners from various external agencies and institutions. This transdisciplinary approach lends an array of resources and skills to the Center and enhances its capabilities in research, education, outreach, and prevention. The Southeast Center continues to focus on special populations; emerging, ignored or persistent agricultural safety and health concerns in the Southeast; cost analysis of tractor and other farm-related injuries; and education/training of public health professionals with an emphasis on agricultural safety and health.
The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health (UMASH) Center at the University of Minnesota is a collaboration of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine, the National Farm Medicine Center of the Marshfield Clinic, and the Minnesota Department of Health. This collaboration brings together unique and complimentary expertise to address existing and emerging occupational health and safety issues in agriculture. A central theme of the center is the interrelationship between the production practices, which are primarily driven by social, economic and animal health considerations, and the health and safety conditions in the workplace. The UMASH center is involved with projects related to health and safety in the pork production industry, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and infection in swine veterinarians, surveillance of disease and injury in dairy farmers, surveillance of zoonotic diseases in agriculture workers, immigrant dairy worker health and safety, facilitating return to work in ill and injured workers, and establishing a multidisciplinary network to address agriculture worker health and safety issues.
The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) at the University of Nebraska serves a seven-state region including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. Their mission is to work with the agricultural community in the Central States and beyond, conducting research, intervention, education, and outreach activities, which aim to discover the mechanisms of injury and illness, and to develop, implement, and evaluate prevention strategies that measurably improve the health and safety of members of the agricultural community. CS-CASH focuses primarily on respiratory disease research, injury surveillance, hearing protection, educational needs of farmers, including non-traditional farmers, their family members, and workers. Our goal is to serve the farming community by discovering causes of injury and illness, and communicating information about prevention in ways that reaches as many farmers as possible.
The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education(SW Center) is located at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. The center currently focuses on innovative approaches to address work-related issues in special agricultural populations including: migrant children, Vietnamese shrimpers, Navajo farm¬ers/ranchers, and youth in agriculture. The guiding principle of the Center is to improve the health and safety of the agricultural community. The Center has developed a broad range of partners for conducting agricultural safety and health research, intervention and outreach activities through-out Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. These partners represent the diversity of the workforce and the range of agricultural production in the region.
The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Center is located at the University of Washington. It serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington with the goal of reducing occupational disease and injury among agricultural operators, workers and their families. The Center is focused on safe and sustainable agricultural workplaces and communities with an emphasis on injury and illness prevention, especially among hired laborers, migrant/seasonal workers, and children. Their approaches include:
- Working in partnership with employers, workers, agencies and other research and service organizations.
- Developing innovative research and intervention programs that focus on problem solving.
- Taking solutions to the workplace through training, outreach, and participatory research.
To assist in the NIOSH mission, in 1990, Congress established a National Program for Occupational Safety and Health in Agriculture within NIOSH to lead a national effort in surveillance, research, and intervention. This program has had a "significant and measurable impact" on reducing adverse health effects among agricultural workers. As part of this program, ten Agricultural Research Centers were established nationally. These Ag Centers conduct research, education, and prevention projects to address the nation’s pressing agricultural safety and health problems. Geographically, the Ag Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the agricultural safety and health issues unique to the different regions. Through these efforts, the Ag Centers help to ensure that actions to prevent disease and injury in agriculture are taken based upon scientific findings. The annual reports are offered as an overview resource of the Center’s activities.
- Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health [PDF - 2.9 MB]
- Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health [PDF - 546 KB]
- High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety [PDF - 1.7 MB]
- Northeast Center for Agricultural Health [PDF - 1.1 MB]
- National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety [PDF - 278 KB]
- Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center [PDF - 18.8 MB]
- Southeast Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education [PDF - 569 KB]
- Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education [PDF - 241 KB]
- Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center [PDF - 823 KB]
- Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety [PDF - 815 KB]
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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