In the United States, a key organization with responsibility for distributing information to the agricultural community is the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Each State's CES is basically autonomous - producing publications and developing educational programs to meet the needs of its citizens. Within the national CES system, information exchange between individual states is encouraged and publications from one state are occasionally reviewed and adapted for use in other states, sometime with no changes at all. In theory, this seems like a sensible means of minimizing redundancy while insuring that materials are pertinent to each state's unique, local conditions. In practice, however, state specialists seldom have convenient access to most materials available from other states, so they rely on familiar materials. The net result is an array of programs that does not support the development of a coherent national program. This is especially apparent in relatively small programmatic areas like agricultural safety.
To promote the national exchange of health and safety program materials within CES and allied organizations, NIOSH, under the auspices of the Agricultural Health Promotion System (AHPS) program, is supporting development of the National Ag Safety Disc (NASD), which will contain an extensive compendium of educational and information resources targeted to support delivery of programs in county Cooperative Extension Service (CES) offices. The prototype NASD database (to be released in October, 1994) will contain over 1,000 health and safety publications from 23 states and three federal agencies. The publications cover specific health and safety topics ranging from ATVs to Zoonoses. The collection will also cover OSHA Standards pertinent to agricultural producers and information on the EPA Worker Protection Standard. A significant number of the documents are available in Spanish as well as English. In addition to CES style documents, NASD also includes a database of abstracts and ordering information covering over 500 videos, a NIOSH bibliographic database of over 500 scientific publications concerned with agricultural health and safety, a resource directory, posters, newspaper articles and PSA radio scripts.
The NASD database is intended to be a central repository of instructional and reference resources related to safety programming. To find materials of interest, users will be able to search the database quickly and easily using hierarchical menus, full-text search and hyperlink tools. Once information of interest is found, users will be able to access the material on-screen or print it on demand. Or they can retrieve an electronic version (WordPerfect file) and modify it to meet their needs. By putting thc NASD database in the hands of agricultural health and safety specialists, NIOSH expects to promote greater national exchange of materials and consequently to enhance Ag Safety programming within CES and allied organizations.
This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The authors noted above are: P. Jones, J. Nelson and H. Pirozzoli, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More