Evaluation of Agricultural Safety and Health Demonstrations

  • Murphy, Dennis J.;
  • Miller, J. A.

During the third year of the Agricultural Health Promotion Systems project at Penn State University, agricultural safety and health demonstrations were presented at various sites throughout Pennsylvania and, in three instances, in New York state. The demonstrations were presented by both project staff and county extension personnel. Evaluation feedback forms were developed to accompany the various demonstrations. This paper discusses the results of these evaluations for five different safety demonstrations:

  • Tractor Overturn Hazards;
  • PTO Hazard Simulator;
  • First-on-the-Scene Actions;
  • Corn Picker Hazard Simulator; and,
  • Respiratory Protection Equipment.

Two criteria guided development of the evaluation feedback forms. First, they were designed to be as brief as possible, so that respondents could quickly and efficiently complete them. Second, they were designed for ease of handling and processing, in this instance printed front and back on card stock. The evaluation forms used for the five different demonstrations contained three groups of items. The first dealt with the respondent's reactions to the safety demonstration, using Likert-type response categories ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. The second focused on the respondent's intended use of the information presented in the demonstration. The third asked about the respondent's gender and relation to the occupation of farming. The forms were nearly identical, differing only in alterations of wording mentioning the particular device or safety concern of each demonstration.

The appropriate forms were distributed to those attending each demonstration with the request that they be completed and returned at the close of the event. Demonstrations presented at 21 sites produced a total of 400 completed evaluation forms. Not surprisingly, the great majority of respondents were male (85%), and just over three-fifths (62%) were either full- or part-time farmers, or spouses or children of farmers.

Overall, respondents reacted favorably to the safety and health demonstrations. Over 90% strongly agreed or agreed that the demonstrations had increased their understanding of farm safety hazards, and 89% responded similarly when asked whether the demonstration had taught them new information about farm safety. Other results are detailed in the paper.

The paper concludes with a discussion of the formative and summative functions that such feedback data can play in assessing agricultural safety and health demonstrations.

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: J.A. Miller and D.J. Murphy, Penn. State University, University Park, PA.

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