Understanding Ohio Farmers: An Outlook on their Occupational Safety and Health Practices

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

Funded by CDC/NIOSH as part of their Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Cooperative Agreement Program, researchers from The Ohio State University have conducted a mixed-mode survey (i.e., a self-administered, mailed questionnaire, with telephone follow-up of mail non-respondents) to obtain health and safety data on 4,860 Ohio cash grain operators. While the questionnaire collectively focuses on demographics, farm characteristics and farming practices, work-related risk factors, occupational history, and health history, this paper will concentrate on a subset of the questionnaire specific to occupational safety and health and its relevance to the farm operator. The predominate areas of regard include:

  • the operators' training in the prevention of occupational injuries or illnesses,
  • any changes of equipment and/or process for reasons of health protection or injury prevention,
  • the substitution of agricultural chemicals for reasons of health protection, and
  • the necessity of personal protective equipment for farm tasks.

Descriptive information pertaining to the farm operators' age, educational level and size of operation (both in acreage and labor force) is compared to each of these four concerns. From these data, an understanding of farm safety and health attitudes can be attained and future health, safety and educational strategies can be better directed.

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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