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Difficult decisions: a simulation that illustrates cost effectiveness of farm safety behaviors.

Cole HP; Kidd PS; Isaacs SG; Parshall M; Scharf T
Agricultural health and safety: recent advances, part I. Donham KJ, Rautiainen R, Schuman SH, Lay JA, eds. New York: Haworth Medical Press, Journal of Agromedicine 1997 Aug; 4(1-2):117-124
A technique for simulating the cost effectiveness of farm safety behaviors was evaluated. The technique consisted of a paper and pencil exercise known as 'Kayle's Difficult Decisions'(KDD) exercise, which simulated the struggles of a typical farm family to maintain production, pay off debts, and cope with work demands, bad weather, and equipment problems. After it was initially tested in a group of 20 farmers and college level agricultural students, the KDD exercise was administered to a group of 34 persons including ten farmers from central Kentucky and 24 agricultural extension agents in several Kentucky counties. The extension agents had families and most worked on family farms. The average age of all 34 subjects was 47 years. The subjects had a mean of 24 years of farming experience. Prior to completing the KDD exercise, the subjects completed a questionnaire to describe any previous farming related accidents, training in farm financial planning and management, and past farm safety behaviors. After completing the KDD exercise, the subjects completed a questionnaire package to evaluate the exercise and to rate its impact on their own farm accident experience and safety behaviors. About 17.6% of the subjects reported having experienced a serious injury that impacted on the family farm's finances. Only 5.9% had any prior training in farm financial planning and management. Seventy percent reported having occasionally compromised safety in order to complete important farming tasks. Nearly all (80 to 100%) of the subjects rated the KDD exercise as authentic and useful for teaching them about relationships between workload, stress, financial factors, safety and injury prevention, and financial planning and management. The subjects also rated the KDD exercise as important in convincing them to make safety a higher priority and reminded them that a serious injury can have a significant effect on their farms' economic welfare. The authors conclude that the KDD exercise represents a new approach for educating and empowering farm family members to invest in better planning and management of labor, finances, and production to decrease the risk of injuries that can impact seriously on their welfare. Co-published simultaneously in <a href=""target="_blank">Journal of Agromedicine Vol. 4, No. 1/2, 1997, pp. 117-124</a>
NIOSH-Purchase-Order; NIOSH-Author; Agricultural-industry; Industrial-safety; Psychological-stress; Questionnaires; Group-behavior; Coping-behavior; Agricultural-workers; Simulation-methods; Safety-education; Author Keywords: Agriculture; farming; occupational injury prevention; safety; economics; planning
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Donham KJ; Rautiainen R; Schuman SH; Lay JA
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Agricultural health and safety: recent advances, part I (Journal of Agromedicine 1997 Aug; 4(1-2))
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division