Farm Stressors in Eastern Washington

  • Elkind, Pamela;
  • Marsh, S.

Farming continues to be a hazardous occupation despite efforts to educate farmers on health and safety methods. The literature indicates that some of these hazardous activities may be related to the stress farmers experience, which in turn influences decision-making processes regarding health and safety measures. Farmers experience a range of specific occupational stressors according to focus groups in eastern Washington state. They indicate that these stressors may be a primary cause of unsafe and unhealthy farm practice.

In order to identify the significant farm stressors impacting the population in eastern Washington, a questionnaire was designed. It measured self reported effects of a range of stressors most significant in farmers' lives. The responses to these questionnaires administered at the regional Agricultural Exposition were factor analyzed. It was found that a large potion of the stress farmers experience is related to economic stressors. There is some diversity by farm production type and degree of stress experienced. The analysis is presented in the poster materials.

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.

P. D. Elkind and S. Marsh, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA.

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