Evaluation of Media Efforts: A Model for Rapid Dissemination

  • Connon, Catherine;
  • Myers, John;
  • Freund, Eugene;
  • Roerig, Sue;
  • Hammond, T.;
  • Melius, J.

In June, 1992, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and New York State Department of Health investigated inadequately guarded secondary drivelines on haybaling machinery. These drivelines were involved in the scalping of four women in New York state, over a 15-year period. Although retrofit shields have been available since 1976, none of the machines involved had been retrofitted. On July 10, 1992, a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article was published describing the scalping incidents and on July 19, 1992, a NIOSH Update was published to warn farmers of the hazard. The NIOSH Update was distributed to rural media and every county extension agent in the United States. Fifty-eight newspapers across the nation printed the Update which contained information about preventing entanglements, including improved shielding. Following this media coverage, the manufacturer had a six-fold increase in retrofit sales for the months of August and September compared to sales over the same time period from the previous year. This method of rapid dissemination has become a model for the development and use of other NIOSH Updates. NIOSH is currently exploring the effectiveness of rapid dissemination of pertinent information to agricultural communities nationwide.

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.

C. Connon, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH; T. Hammond, NIOSH, Atlanta, GA; J. Myers, NIOSH, Morgantown, WV; E. Freund, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH; S. Roerig, E. NY Occup. Health Clinic, Latham, NY; J. Melius, NYSDOH, Albany, NY.

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