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

Prof. Dr. Lorann Stallones
Website
Guest Editor
Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University, CO, USA
Interests: agricultural safety and health; farm worker/migrant worker safety and health; mood disorders and pesticide exposures; suicide among farming populations
Prof. Dr. Susan Brumby
Website
Guest Editor
Director Centre For Farmer Health, Deakin University
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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Safety is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

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

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Estimating the Number of Agricultural Fatal Injuries Prevented by Agricultural Engineering Developments in the United States
Safety 2019, 5(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040063 - 25 Sep 2019
Abstract
Agriculture has been consistently marked as one of the deadliest industries by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While this statistic is widely used in promoting agricultural safety and health, it does not paint a complete picture on the current status [...] Read more.
Agriculture has been consistently marked as one of the deadliest industries by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While this statistic is widely used in promoting agricultural safety and health, it does not paint a complete picture on the current status of agricultural safety and the advances that have been made in the last century. For example, even with a stagnant rate of injury, the BLS has reported that fatal incidents decreased from a high of 855 incidents in 1993 to a low of 500 incidents in 2013. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact that agricultural engineering developments had on reducing fatal injuries. Agricultural engineering developments are defined as any agricultural improvement that results in a direct reduction in the amount of labor needed. This study uses existing federal agricultural statistical, injury and demographic data to calculate the impact that engineering, in contrast to yield improvements and safety enhancements, contributed to a reduction in the number of fatal incidents. The study found that engineering developments could have contributed to the reduction in the number of fatal injuries by about 170 incidents from 1992 to 2015. This represents 63% of the total reduction in the number of fatal injuries. In conclusion, agricultural engineering developments play a substantial role in reducing the number of fatal incidents by removing and reducing labor exposure to hazardous environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
A Case Study in the Application of the Systematic Approach to Training in the Logging Industry
Safety 2019, 5(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5030043 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to develop and assess a targeted emergency first-aid and safety training program for professional loggers in Montana. There were two key objectives for the program: (1) participant demonstration of recall and retention of key concepts and (2) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to develop and assess a targeted emergency first-aid and safety training program for professional loggers in Montana. There were two key objectives for the program: (1) participant demonstration of recall and retention of key concepts and (2) improved participant reception in comparison to the previous year’s training program. The Systematic Approach to Training provided the overall model for the development and conduct of the training program. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were used to assess the effectiveness of the training program. The training program was administered to 873 loggers. Pre-, post-, and follow-up examinations were used to assess recall and retention of key learning objectives, while surveys were used to assess learner reception of the updated training program. Post-training survey data indicated increases in training applicability, understanding of learning objectives, and overall course enjoyment of the updated program in comparison to the previous year’s training program. Participants scored significantly higher on the post-training exams, which demonstrated recall of key training objectives. The results obtained by the training evaluation will guide future research and the continued development of the training program to align with ongoing analysis activities and participant suggestions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Development of an Occupational Health Safe Return to Work Prototype Application and Ergonomics Dataset for Agricultural Tasks
Safety 2019, 5(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020040 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Serious, restrictive, non-fatal injuries are commonplace in large animal agriculture including in pork and dairy production. Primary care clinicians often have few resources to facilitate workers’ return to work and have difficulties communicating work restrictions/limitations to workers and their employers. This project developed [...] Read more.
Serious, restrictive, non-fatal injuries are commonplace in large animal agriculture including in pork and dairy production. Primary care clinicians often have few resources to facilitate workers’ return to work and have difficulties communicating work restrictions/limitations to workers and their employers. This project developed SafeReturnToWork.org, a web-based platform to aid physicians and farmers in farmworkers’ timely and safe return to work. This prototype characterizes the duties of dairy and pork workers, and facilitates the creation of applicable light duty job assemblies for farmers and farmworkers by physicians and other healthcare providers. Guided by interviews and focus groups with physicians, farmers, and farmworkers, the system was developed for use with workplace injuries that could eventually link to human resource department systems, an electronic health record, or expand to other industries beyond agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Summary of Indiana Farm Fatalities Involving Individuals 55 Years and Older—1988–2017
Safety 2019, 5(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020039 - 15 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Agriculture has historically been one of the most hazardous of all occupations, with a variety of potential safety risks to workers and even higher risks documented for older agricultural workers. This study was undertaken to document and summarize Indiana farm work-related fatalities involving [...] Read more.
Agriculture has historically been one of the most hazardous of all occupations, with a variety of potential safety risks to workers and even higher risks documented for older agricultural workers. This study was undertaken to document and summarize Indiana farm work-related fatalities involving persons 55 years and older over the 30 year period from 1988 to 2017. Data were mined from the Purdue University Agricultural Safety and Health Program’s Fatality Database that dates back to the 1960s. A total of 388 fatalities involving persons 55 years and older was documented. The average age of the victims was 69.3 years old, and an overwhelming majority of the cases involved males (96.1%). The average number of deaths per year has remained fairly consistent, though it has occasionally been erratic, with an unanticipated increase in the number of documented fatalities over the period 2012–2017. There appeared to be a direct positive correlation between the level or intensity of agricultural production in a county and the frequency of fatalities. The type of fatal injury most commonly reported was crush/run-over, with 229 cases (59%). The most common agent or source of injury involved was tractors, with 157 cases (40.5%). Another noted contributing factor was the high frequency of incidents in which the victim was reported to be working alone at the time of death. Findings will be used to develop evidence-based injury prevention strategies, including the development of agricultural safety training materials and methods more relevant to older farmers. A special emphasis should be placed on reducing the risk of tractor and farm machinery overturns, especially when older, non-roll over protection structure (ROPS) equipped tractors are being operated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Safety Climate in the Professional Logging Industry
Safety 2019, 5(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020035 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Work involving forest logging is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. In the intermountain region of Montana and Idaho in the United States, the extreme terrain, remote location and severe weather conditions escalate risk. Although safety has improved through [...] Read more.
Work involving forest logging is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. In the intermountain region of Montana and Idaho in the United States, the extreme terrain, remote location and severe weather conditions escalate risk. Although safety has improved through the development of mechanized equipment, logging tasks continue to be very hazardous. Thus, as with leading companies in other occupational sectors, logging enterprises are beginning to consider safety climate as a useful measure in their safety systems. The purpose of this study was to quantify safety climate within the logging industry of Montana, USA and to identify specific determinants of safety climate. A demographic, musculoskeletal symptom (MSS), and safety climate survey (NOSACQ-50) was administered to 743 professional loggers. Analyses were conducted to determine the association between demographic characteristics, MSS, workplace variables and the scores on five safety climate dimensions (management safety priority and ability, workers’ safety commitment, workers’ safety priority and risk non-acceptance, peer safety communication, learning and trust in safety ability, and workers’ trust in efficacy of safety systems). Variables identified as predictors of safety climate included logging system type, supervisory status, age, years of experience and reported MSS. As safety climate is a leading indicator of workplace safety, if work groups with the lowest safety climate scores can be identified, they could receive targeted safety intervention programs or resources; thereby directing resources to the groups who need it the most, without relying on lagging indicators such as injury and fatality rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Identifying Safety Training Resource Needs in the Cattle Feeding Industry in the Midwestern United States
Safety 2019, 5(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020026 - 30 Apr 2019
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
Safety 2019, 5(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020023 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
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)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Analyzing Large Workers’ Compensation Claims Using Generalized Linear Models and Monte Carlo Simulation
Safety 2018, 4(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4040057 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
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)
Back to TopTop