The Perception of Farm Safety and Prevention Issues Among the Old Order Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Hupcey, Judith E.;
  • Rhodes, Denise A.


The purpose of this study was to explore farm safety and prevention issues within an Old Order Amish community. A qualitative ethnographic approach was used to explore perceptions of Amish adults as to the issues related to farm safety and prevention for their children. Access to this community was facilitated through two contact people who were well known in the community. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and recorded as field notes. Data analysis was done by looking for themes based on the questions asked about safety and prevention. From this analysis, four themes were found related to safety and prevention. They included education of the parents, education of the children, home and farm preventive measures, and enforcement of established rules. In addition, childhood readiness was found to be another important issue related to farm safety. Childhood readiness was found to have three themes: developmental appropriateness, parental control and supervision, and birth order of the child.

Data from this study suggested that farm safety is a concern of the Old Order Amish in Lancaster County. Their perceptions of safety and prevention issues centered on the incidents that have occurred and are considered dangerous. It is important to look at the identified safety and prevention and childhood readiness themes to identify the most beneficial approaches for the Amish to promote safety on their farms.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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