Agricultural Safety and Health Information Needs Assessment

  • Shutske, John M.;
  • Greaves, Ian. A.;
  • Kochevar, Laura;
  • Olson, Debra K.


The purpose of this survey was to identify the educational needs of service providers for information on the prevention and control of agricultural injury and illness. A random sample of 28% from each of the state provider groups was chosen. These groups included veterinarians, chiropractors, extension agents, farm implement dealers and physicians. An exception to this strategy was public health nursing directors, where all were chosen due to the small sample size. Provider groups were identified from state licensure and association lists excluding zip codes of 554 and 551 (metropolitan area). Of the 593 valid questionnaires returned (59% overall response rate) the average age of the respondents was 45 years; males accounted for 77%; average length of professional practice was 18 years; and 39% of respondents had farmed at least some time in their lives. The respondents overall showed greatest interest in receiving information on lung and breathing problems, farm machinery injury, safe handling of agrichemicals and poisoning. The most valuable information in the past two years has been received from the Cooperative Extension Service, professional magazines and educational conferences. In general, respondents reported a greater level of interest in future sources of information that may be viewed as specific to the need of the provider group and in a permanent form that they could keep or refer back to if the need arose (e.g., newsletters, films/videotapes and magazines) or in sources that involved direct contact with people regarded as experts in the field (e.g. Cooperative Extension Service and health care professionals).

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