Tractor-related injuries among youth are an important public health problem. The major objectives of this study were to (1) provide a rigorous estimate of the number of youth operating tractors in Ohio and (2) assess the extent to which these youth are participating in federally mandated tractor safety training. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by approximately 4,000 students ages 14 or 15 years who were enrolled in a stratified cluster sample of 99 Ohio schools. Almost one-third of the youth (30%) reported having operated tractors, with 19% having operated a tractor on a farm not owned by a parent or guardian. More than half of the youth (52%) reported having operated a tractor and/or other hazardous machinery, with 25% having operated the machinery on a farm not owned or operated by a parent or guardian. Extrapolating from 4-H records and Ohio census data, fewer than 1% of the youth who are operating tractors or other hazardous machinery have participated in tractor certification training. Increasing participation in mandated training may be an important step in protecting the health of our nation's young agricultural workers.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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