Missouri's Safety and Health Initiative

  • Baker, David E.;
  • Redfield, Laura

Thousands of people have been exposed to safety and health messages through the Missouri Safety and Health Initiative. Co-funded by the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and NIOSH, Missouri's program has used workshops, school programs, farm shows, the media, and an advisory committee to generate awareness of a variety of health and safety concerns.

Thirty-four Farm Women's Workshops have been conducted since the program began in l991. About 643 people attended these workshops, which are designed to focus on local health and safety concerns.

The Missouri Youth Initiative was created in 1993 as a result of requests by Farm Women Workshop attendees. Twelve youth programs were conducted between September, 1993, and June, 1994. School assemblies, workshops, and a safety fair educated more than 1,500 youth. Most of the youth reached were between five and twelve years of age.

Three Extension/Nurse's In-Service Training Conferences were conducted between September,1993, and June, 1994. The conferences brought 80 interested extension specialists and rural health nurses together to discuss: overview of agricultural safety and health issues, detecting and preventing long- and short-term consequences, machinery hazards, and how to involve the community for successful attitude changes.

Three farm shows were attended by Project staff between December, 1993, and March, 1994. The biggest show attended by Staff, the Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Mo., attracted about 50,000. The Western Dealers Association provided a large area for the Safety and Health Roundup. Project staff coordinated with the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Health, the Kansas Highway Patrol, John Deere, Gempler's, and others to fill the area with a variety of innovative safety and health displays, including seven built by Project staff.

The Missouri Initiative also worked with the media. Thirty-five news releases were sent to more than 150 Missouri newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations between July, 1993 and July, 1994. More than 30 radio interviews were conducted during the same period, many of the interviews being used by as many as 27 different radio stations.

A Safety and Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) was developed to help the Missouri Initiative bring together a diverse group of people to plan the future of the program. Health professionals, educators, equipment dealers, farm organization leaders, government personnel, a farmer, and Project staff work together to determine and address Missouri's safety and health concerns.

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.

D. E. Baker and L. M. Redfield, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

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