The Ohio Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Program: Electronic Acquisition of On-Farm Hazard Data

  • Bean, Thomas;
  • Crawford, John M.;
  • Mitchell, Gladys Lynn;
  • Wilkins III, J.R.;
  • Jepsen, S. Dee;
  • Jones, Lawrence A.

In cooperation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), The Ohio State University is conducting health and hazard studies of cash grain farming in Ohio. Hazard data collection during on-farm inspections is being facilitated with a pen-based computer, allowing a two-person Hazard Technician team to record the data electronically during their "walk-around." The computer has been programmed for systematic data collection in a manner designed to enhance data completeness and accuracy, while simultaneously providing the necessary flexibility. A main menu consisting of specific inspection areas can be accessed with the touch of a stylus, as follows: structures, mobile farm machinery, farm vehicles, landscape,noise/dust/gas grab sampling, and ergonomic observations. After selection of the primary area for examination, appropriate additional menus appear, allowing the Hazard Technicians to more precisely define the areas to be assessed. The programming also incorporates lists which can be used to quickly inventory an area being inspected, including lists of pesticides, agriculturally-related medicinals, and a NIOSH general product exposure list. The ready availability of these extensive lists increases efficiency and accuracy, but handwritten responses can also be recorded for non-listed items. The data collection protocol is currently being used in Phase 2 of the Ohio FFHHS. The features of the pen-based system referred to above will be demonstrated.

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 from: All at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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