Research for Agricultural Safety and Health

  • Merchant, James A.


In identifying research priorities for agricultural health and safety, one must first define the populations at risk. In agriculture, those at risk greatly exceed the number of farmers who report sole or primary employment from agriculture. Agricultural production is now changing dynamically resulting in a substantial increase in farmers with non-farm jobs, greater involvement of women and seasonal workers, and involvement of children and recreational farmers in agricultural operations. All re exposed to some degree to multiple farm hazards--farm machinery, livestock, chemical, organic dusts, and a wide variety of biological hazards. Priorities for research in agricultural safety and health include disease and injury surveillance, epidemiological investigations of morbidity, mortality and risk factors, studies of toxicological effects and mechanisms of disease, and the opportunity for meaningful intervention for disease and injury prevention. Those engaged in this research must also recognize the influence of poverty, limited access to health care and limited insurance coverage among many living an working in rural areas. As the result of the national initiative in agricultural and environmental health, federal, state and foundation funding is now available to address these several research priorities. The challenge is to maintain and cultivate these research opportunities through targeted research designed to advance our understanding and prevention of diseases and injuries among those with agricultural exposures.


SOURCE: 1991. 20.


This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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