Empirical Derivation of Work Guidelines for Youth in Agriculture

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Childhood Agricultural Safety and Health Research
RFA 817

Abstract Research Grant Awarded in Fiscal Year 1998
October 26, 1998

(For 3 year grant)

Project Title: Empirical Derivation of Work Guidelines for Youth in Agriculture

Principal Investigator: John R. Wilkins, III, Dr. P.H.

Affiliation: Ohio State University Research

City & State: Columbus, Ohio

Grant Number: 1 R01 CCR515580-02

Start & End Dates: 09/30/1998 – 09/29/2001


A longitudinal study of rural youth is proposed to (1) develop multivariate risk prediction models of agricultural injury among children and adolescents exposed to agricultural hazards, (2) evaluate with ergonomic methods the potential for worker-task mismatch among youth who work in agriculture, and (3) derive work guidelines with medical decision making methodologies that parents and other caregivers can use to judge the age- and developmental-appropriateness of job/chore assignments. Collaboration among investigators in the OSU School of Public Health, the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and OSU Extension/4-H will facilitate recruitment of eligible youth and their primary caregiver into the prospective cohort design. Putative risk predictors to be investigated include (but are not limited to) the following youth-based factors: chronological age, developmental level/neurobehavioral competence, anthropometric and strength characteristics, and selected psychosocial/behavioral factors such as risk-taking behavior and risk perception. Caregiver-based factors such as parenting practices (for example, approaches to supervision) and risk perception will also be considered. After baseline data collection, longitudinal data on injury events and relevant exposures will be obtained from the youthful participants and their primary caregivers through Participant Event Monitoring. An ergonomics-based substudy of sentinel jobs/chores will also be conducted.

The final multivariate risk prediction models will be translated into practical work guidelines that parents/caregivers can use. Specifically, point estimates of injury risk for a job/chore or family of jobs/chores predicted by youth or caregiver characteristics on each significant risk factor will be converted to user-friendly numerical scores that correspond with the magnitude of the empirically-derived probabilities.

Page last reviewed: August 30, 2001