Injury in agriculture is an increasingly well recognized public health issue in Australia. This descriptive study aimed to identify the burden of occupationally induced back trouble in a sample of dairy farmers and to provide a base for injury prevention planning. A survey instrument was developed following extensive qualitative analysis through the use of focus groups with a quantitative assessment of the validity and reliability of the final survey instrument being completed. Surveys were distributed to local dairy farmers to quantify the extent of, and identify factors related to, back trouble in the industry. A total of 138 dairy farmers (response rate 32%) responded to the final survey with 57% (N = 79), reporting back trouble directly related to their occupation. Of the dairy farmers with back trouble, 58% (46/79) had experienced back trouble for a period of at least 10 years. Activities associated with the occurrence of back trouble in the sample included fencing, tractor work, stock feeding, milking, hay and silage preparation. Prevention strategies to reduce the level of back trouble in the industry were strongly supported by the dairy farmers and centered on worksite assessments and the development of appropriate educational resources.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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