Agricultural safety efforts by county health departments in Wisconsin.
Chapman LJ; Schuler RT; Wilkinson TL; Skjolaas CA
Public Health Rep 1996 Sep; 111(5):437-443
Current programs designed to improve the agriculture safety prevention efforts of county health departments in Wisconsin were examined to try to maximize the impact on workers. A survey was completed by a professional staff member of the local health department in each of the 69 counties of Wisconsin. The results obtained from 84% of the counties were used for analysis. Some agricultural safety and health programs were being conducted by 45% of the responding staff members, most often including health screenings or group meetings conducted collaboratively with county agricultural extension agents. No major differences were noted in county demographics or other service provision variables between those staff members who conducted such programs and those who did not. The largest barriers observed by the staff members to better safety was a lack of staff time and a difficulty in getting farmers to attend the safety programs offered. Most failed to place more emphasis on training agricultural workers to permanently correct hazards than on training them to work safely around the hazards. Staff members ranked safety inspection checklists as the most needed new material and ranked extension agents and farmers as the most appropriate people to conduct inspections using such checklists. The authors conclude that more staff time and new materials are needed to improve their effectiveness in these areas. The authors suggest that encouraging agricultural workers and family members to identify and correct hazards would be a more effective use of staff time than training people to work safely around the hazards.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Agriculture; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Education; Safety-education
Public Health Reports
University of Wisconsin, Madison