Special Issue "Agricultural Safety and Health"

A special issue of Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lorann Stallones

Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University, CO, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 970-491-6156
Interests: agricultural safety and health; farm worker/migrant worker safety and health; mood disorders and pesticide exposures; suicide among farming populations
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Susan Brumby

Director Centre For Farmer Health, Deakin University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Agricultural Health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In developing countries, women comprise approximately 43% of the total agricultural workforce. In developed countries, despite the perception that there are few women working in agriculture, they comprise approximately 33% of the agricultural workforce. Based on this perception, less work has been done to characterize health hazards among women working in agriculture than among men working in agriculture. Women working in agriculture in developing countries have less access than men to financial resources, land, education, livestock, farm equipment, extension services, and farm labor. These circumstances result in lower productivity and an inability to transport crops to market. These factors intersect with the hazards associated with farming to increase the likelihood of injuries and diseases associated with farming. As informal and formal workers on farms, women are exposed to a multitude of biological, chemical, physical, and mechanical hazards.  Genetic and other biological differences may contribute to differing susceptibility to agricultural chemicals between men and women. Susceptibility may be increased, or it may be reduced due to gender. Therefore, patterns of cancer among women exposed to agricultural chemicals may well differ from patterns observed among men. Emotional and psychological gender differences related to the isolation of rural farm life have not been assessed. Mental health in rural areas has been a neglected issue in medical care service access. The absence of services may have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of farm women. Women who are migrant farm workers are exposed to the same hazards as men who are migrant workers. However, they are likely to experience greater ergonomic problems than their male counterparts. In addition, migrant women who work during their pregnancy are likely to experience problems due to bending and lifting. Exposure to pesticides in the fields has been a persistent problem for all migrant workers and should also be of concern for the children exposed in utero. Migrant women may also be at risk of sexual assault, as they may be far from their families and viewed by their bosses or co-workers as targets. Women who work on the farm are often excluded from the consideration of agricultural safety and health programs. Role definition as homemakers or employed workers in settings other than agriculture may influence women’s perception of risk, involvement in safety programs, and identification of diseases related to agricultural exposures. 

Prof. Dr. Lorann Stallones
Prof. Dr. Susan Brumby
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • women in agriculture 
  • agricultural exposures 
  • cancer risk 
  • injuries 
  • intersectionality

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Identifying Safety Training Resource Needs in the Cattle Feeding Industry in the Midwestern United States
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Cattle feedyards are a high-risk environment. They are characterized by high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. As such, there is a clear need to address the health and safety of cattle feedyard workers. Therefore, the purpose of this cross-sectional study was to [...] Read more.
Cattle feedyards are a high-risk environment. They are characterized by high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. As such, there is a clear need to address the health and safety of cattle feedyard workers. Therefore, the purpose of this cross-sectional study was to explore safety training practices and preferences in the cattle feeding industry. A survey of feedyard managers, feedyard safety trainers, and feedyard operators was conducted (n = 28). We found that only half of respondents had dedicated safety personnel; however, there was interest in a safety training program, conducted through short hands-on and in-person methods with materials available in English and Spanish. The majority of participants were also interested in a feedyard safety certification program. Participants reaffirmed the importance of partnering with industry and other stakeholders when conducting these types of programs. The results of this Phase 1-type translational research study will be used to guide the development of feedyard safety trainings and a corresponding recognition program for feedyards and feedyard workers as part of the “Improving Safety and Health of Cattle Feedyard Workers” project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Active Surveillance of Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms in the Development of Safety Interventions for Professional Loggers
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Logging is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Logging tasks, whether they consist of operating a chainsaw, operating a mechanized harvester, or driving logging trucks, have an influence on the types of hazards and injuries among professional loggers. Using the [...] Read more.
Logging is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Logging tasks, whether they consist of operating a chainsaw, operating a mechanized harvester, or driving logging trucks, have an influence on the types of hazards and injuries among professional loggers. Using the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire, we investigated the 12-month period prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms (MSS) among professional loggers in the mountainous region of Montana. We also differentiated the prevalence of MSS based on logging system-type accounting for demographic and workplace covariates. Based on data from 743 professional loggers in Montana, loggers using conventional felling practices with chainsaws were more than twice as likely to report MSS (Odds Ratio (OR): 2.24 (1.07–4.69)) than those using mechanized logging equipment. In addition, increased MSS scores were associated with conventional harvesting systems, increased years of experience, and increased BMI. The active surveillance of MSS among professional loggers in Montana resulted in recommendations for safety interventions. The safety interventions included a greater mechanization of logging tasks and early career training on the heavy equipment used in logging operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Analyzing Large Workers’ Compensation Claims Using Generalized Linear Models and Monte Carlo Simulation
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
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Abstract
Insurance practitioners rely on statistical models to predict future claims in order to provide financial protection. Proper predictive statistical modeling is more challenging when analyzing claims with lower frequency, but high costs. The paper investigated the use of predictive generalized linear models (GLMs) [...] Read more.
Insurance practitioners rely on statistical models to predict future claims in order to provide financial protection. Proper predictive statistical modeling is more challenging when analyzing claims with lower frequency, but high costs. The paper investigated the use of predictive generalized linear models (GLMs) to address this challenge. Workers’ compensation claims with costs equal to or more than US$100,000 were analyzed in agribusiness industries in the Midwest of the USA from 2008 to 2016. Predictive GLMs were built with gamma, Weibull, and lognormal distributions using the lasso penalization method. Monte Carlo simulation models were developed to check the performance of predictive models in cost estimation. The results show that the GLM with gamma distribution has the highest predictivity power (R2 = 0.79). Injury characteristics and worker’s occupation were predictive of large claims’ occurrence and costs. The conclusions of this study are useful in modifying and estimating insurance pricing within high-risk agribusiness industries. The approach of this study can be used as a framework to forecast workers’ compensation claims amounts with rare, high-cost events in other industries. This work is useful for insurance practitioners concerned with statistical and predictive modeling in financial risk analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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