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Encouraging the installation of rollover protective structures in New York State: the design of a social marketing intervention.

Sorensen JA; May J; Ostby-Malling R; Lehmen T; Strand J; Stenlund H; Weinehall L; Emmelin M
Scand J Public Health 2008 Nov; 36(8):859-869
AIMS: Increasing the percentage of rollover protective structure (ROPS) equipped tractors has been the focus of many agricultural safety campaigns. Traditionally efforts have attempted to persuade farmers through education or community awareness interventions. These efforts have lead to marginal change. In response, a social marketing approach was tested as a means for increasing interest in ROPS retrofitting in New York. METHODS: An initial phone survey was conducted with a random sample of New York farmers to identify a potential target population. Following target selection, in-depth interviews were conducted to isolate barriers and motivators to retrofitting. This information was used to develop message prototypes which were tested in small focus group discussions. Selected and revised messages, as well as various other incentives developed in response to feedback from interviews, were then tested in a prospective, quasi-randomized controlled trial. RESULTS: Small crop and livestock farms were selected as the intervention target since they represent 86% of New York farms with none or only one ROPS protected tractor. Barriers to retrofitting which were identified in interviews were: 1) constant exposures normalize risk, 2) risk is modeled by significant others and 3) safety in general and retrofitting in particular requires too much time and money. The piloting of ROPS incentives led to a marked increase in ROPS sales in New York. CONCLUSIONS: Social Marketing provides a promising framework for the design of agricultural injury prevention programs. The potential implications for other health initiatives seeking to promote behaviour change are also discussed.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-machinery; Tractors; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Sociological-factors; Behavior; Behavior-patterns; Attitude; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Mental-processes; Humans; Motor-vehicles; Families; Farmers; Author Keywords: Health behaviour theories; health campaigns; health interventions; intervention evaluation; risk; rollover protective structures; ROPS; safety; social marketing; stages of change theory; theory of planned behaviour
Julie A. Sorensen, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Bassett Healthcare, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Performing Organization
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, New York
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division