Special Issue "Agricultural Safety and Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Dennis Murphy
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, 249 Agricultural Engineering Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: risk management; hazard loss control; injury data classification; safety behavior modification; agricultural emergency; safety and health professional development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Production agriculture, or farming and ranching, continues to be ranked highly as a hazardous occupation in many countries throughout the world. The hazards and risks are numerous and include children, older workers, high-speed machines, environmental hazards, hand labor, large animals, awkward working positions, and more. While overall progress has been made in reducing certain types of incidents, with some target groups, and in some countries, this progress is, at best, painfully slow and uneven from an international perspective. Fundamental research, practical interventions, and effective outreach are all needed to help prevent and mitigate production agriculture injury, illness and disease, and this knowledge needs to be shared internationally among agricultural safety and health professionals. This Special Issue will focus on all aspects of agricultural safety and health. Researchers can submit papers dealing with any aspect related to the topic of agricultural safety and health.

Prof. Dr. Dennis Murphy
Guest Editor

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 1600 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.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Determining the Pull-Forces Required to Extricate a Victim Entrapped at Various Angles in a Grain Mass
Safety 2017, 3(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010011 - 11 Mar 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Prior research on extrication of victims entrapped in stored grain has measured the vertical forces applied to a representative victim (i.e., mannequin) using an anchor point that is mounted directly overhead. However, primarily because of how most grain storage structures are designed, the [...] Read more.
Prior research on extrication of victims entrapped in stored grain has measured the vertical forces applied to a representative victim (i.e., mannequin) using an anchor point that is mounted directly overhead. However, primarily because of how most grain storage structures are designed, the forces applied would more likely be coming from an angle. This is due to the victim typically being entrapped in the center of the grain mass while the access point is at the perimeter of the roof. The objective of this study was to measure the peak forces required to pull a mannequin at an angle and compare it to vertical pull. An adult-size mannequin was pulled out of dry corn and soybean masses from various depths and at various angles. It was found that both corn and soybeans were comparable regardless of depth or angle with the exception of 15° angle. It was also found that, at pulling angles of 60° and 75°, the loads were comparable to those required at 90° or directly overhead. Only at the sharper angles of 15° and 30° did the peak forces significantly increase. The results highlight that there is some flexibility in the placement of the anchor point and that extrication forces on the body will increase at sharper pull angles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Injury and Resolution Response to Repetitive Inhalation Exposure to Agricultural Organic Dust in Mice
Safety 2017, 3(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010010 - 21 Feb 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Inhalation of organic dusts in agricultural environments causes airway inflammatory diseases. Despite advances in understanding the airway response to dust-induced inflammation, less is known about the transition from lung injury to repair and recovery. The objective of this study was to define the [...] Read more.
Inhalation of organic dusts in agricultural environments causes airway inflammatory diseases. Despite advances in understanding the airway response to dust-induced inflammation, less is known about the transition from lung injury to repair and recovery. The objective of this study was to define the post-inflammation homeostasis events following organic dust-induced lung injury. Using an established protocol, mice were intranasally treated with swine confinement facility organic dust extract (ODE) daily for 3 weeks (repetitive exposure) or treated daily with ODE for 3 weeks followed by no treatment for 1-4 weeks (recovery period) whereupon lavage fluid, lung tissue, and sera were processed. During recovery period, a significant decrease was observed in ODE-induced neutrophil levels after 1 week, lymphocytes at 2 weeks, and macrophages at 4 weeks in the lavage fluid. ODE-induced lung cellular aggregates and bronchiolar compartment inflammation were diminished, but persisted for 4 weeks post-injury. Alveolar inflammation resolved at 3 weeks. ODE-induced lung neutrophils were cleared by 3 weeks, B-cells by 2 weeks, and CD3+CD4+ and CD3+CD8+ T cells by 4 week recovery period. Amphiregulin levels increased post-ODE exposure to the 4 week recovery period. Ex vivo amphiregulin production was demonstrated in lung type 2 innate lymphoid cells and macrophages isolated from the 4 week recovery (post-ODE exposure) animals. Collectively, these results identify important processes during recovery period following agricultural dust-induced inflammation, and present possible strategies for improving lung repair and resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Injury/Fatality-Causing Incidents Involving the Rearward Movement of Agricultural Machinery: Types, Causes, and Preventive Measures
Safety 2017, 3(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010008 - 08 Feb 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
The research reported here sought to more fully understand the types and causative factors of injury/fatality incidents resulting from the rearward-movement of tractors and other self-propelled agricultural machinery, with the view that such findings might lead to the development, improvement, and/or better utilization [...] Read more.
The research reported here sought to more fully understand the types and causative factors of injury/fatality incidents resulting from the rearward-movement of tractors and other self-propelled agricultural machinery, with the view that such findings might lead to the development, improvement, and/or better utilization of safety procedures, design principles, and technologies that would prevent—or at least markedly reduce—their occurrence. Thus, the scope of this study focused only on rearward-travel (not mechanical malfunction) incidents, and principally on agricultural equipment (although cases involving similar equipment in industrial or construction settings were also drawn upon). Applying these two criteria, a search of published and online sources uncovered more than 100 documented cases, 35 of which could clearly be identified as rearward-movement incidents, of which 28 (80%) were fatal. Each of these 35 cases were then assessed, based on the type of machine, type of worksite, and type/description of incident (i.e., ‘scenario’), which fell into one of three distinct categories or classifications—(1) co-worker run over/crushed/otherwise injured because operator loses visual contact with co-worker; (2) bystander run over/crushed/otherwise injured because operator is unaware of bystander’s presence; and (3) operator run over/crushed/otherwise injured because operator loses visual contact with, or is unaware of, a stationary object or a hazard. Then, from each scenario, a representative incident (i.e., case study) was selected for a more in-depth analysis. The collective findings, from these three case studies and all 35 machinery rearward-movement incidents, were as follows: (1) The ‘victim’ could be the machine operator as well as a co-worker or a bystander; (2) The specific site of the co-worker or bystander injury/fatality was at the base of the machine’s rear tires or tracks, at the hitching point, or behind a towed implement; (3) The specific cause was loss of visual contact between the operator and co-worker/bystander due to visual obstruction, the operator’s physical limitations, or the operator’s and/or bystander’s lack of alertness. To reduce the likelihood of future occurrences of agricultural machinery rearward travel-related incidents, preventive measures aimed at addressing the key causative factors for each scenario are offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Inhibits Organic Dust-Induced ICAM-1 Expression on Bronchial Epithelial Cells
Safety 2017, 3(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010005 - 07 Jan 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Aims: Exposure to dusts/bioaerosols in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) results in inflammatory lung diseases in workers. Hog CAFOs dust extract (HDE) increases expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), neutrophil adhesion, and TNFα release in bronchial epithelial cells. Alcohol consumption is increasingly recognized [...] Read more.
Aims: Exposure to dusts/bioaerosols in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) results in inflammatory lung diseases in workers. Hog CAFOs dust extract (HDE) increases expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), neutrophil adhesion, and TNFα release in bronchial epithelial cells. Alcohol consumption is increasingly recognized to impair lung immunity. We hypothesized that alcohol impairs HDE-induced TNFα, ICAM-1 expression, and neutrophil adhesion by directly inhibiting TNFα converting enzyme (TACE) activity. Methods: Bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and primary human bronchial epithelial cells were pretreated with ethanol (EtOH) or TACE inhibitor. ICAM-1 surface expression; TNFα release; and TACE activity were analyzed following HDE stimulation. The effect of alcohol and TACE inhibition on HDE-regulated epithelial cell/neutrophil adhesion interactions was investigated. Finally; utilizing an established animal model; C57BL/6 mice were fed ad libitum ethanol (20%) in drinking water for 8 weeks followed by daily intranasal inhalation of HDE or saline during the final two weeks. Mice were sacrificed and lung sections immunostained for ICAM-1. Results: Pretreatment with alcohol or TACE inhibitor significantly decreased HDE-induced ICAM-1 expression and TNFα release. HDE augmented neutrophil adhesion to epithelial cells, which was decreased with alcohol (32% decrease) or TACE inhibitor (55% decrease) pretreatment. TACE activity increased following HDE exposure, but TACE activity was inhibited following alcohol pretreatment. Alcohol-fed mice demonstrated decreased HDE-induced airway epithelium ICAM-1 expression. Conclusions: Alcohol diminishes HDE-induced ICAM-1 expression, TNFα release, and neutrophil adhesion via inhibition of TACE activity. These results suggest that alcohol may be an important modulator of lung innate immune responses following CAFO exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Expert Panel Data to Guide Youth Agricultural Safety and Health Training Resources in the US
Safety 2017, 3(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010004 - 01 Jan 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The US Department of Labor (US DOL) oversees the Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Orders (AgHOs), which identifies specific tasks that youth are prohibited from performing for hire on American farms and ranches. An educational exemption from this public policy is currently in place that [...] Read more.
The US Department of Labor (US DOL) oversees the Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Orders (AgHOs), which identifies specific tasks that youth are prohibited from performing for hire on American farms and ranches. An educational exemption from this public policy is currently in place that allows youth, 14–15 years old, to complete a certification program prior to engaging in agricultural work involving tractors and machinery. However, limited guidance is provided in the legislation regarding the format or content of the tractor and machinery certification exemption. Four AgHOs (tractor and machinery) studies were identified and included in this meta-analysis publication. The research goals of this analysis were to determine basic trends of learning outcomes, and identify educational content to be delivered as a result of these studies. Within each of the four studies, expert panels were used to identify educational learning outcomes. The analysis revealed that 48.0% (n = 184) of all learning outcome items fell within the Tractor-based (Tractor) learning outcome category, 29.8% (n = 114) within General Safety and Health (General), and 22.2% (n = 85) of items in the Machinery-based (Machinery) category. Ultimately, sound educational methods and understanding of fundamental student competence are essential components for any training program, including youth who complete AgHOs tractor and machinery certification programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Topics and Dissemination Methods for Agricultural Safety and Health Messages
Safety 2017, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety3010003 - 01 Jan 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
As farm demographics change, it is important to create relatable, research-based safety and health materials, and deliver information via preferable methods. Three data collection methods (focus groups, surveys via National Agricultural Statistics Service, and face-to-face interviews) were administered to farmers in seven Midwestern [...] Read more.
As farm demographics change, it is important to create relatable, research-based safety and health materials, and deliver information via preferable methods. Three data collection methods (focus groups, surveys via National Agricultural Statistics Service, and face-to-face interviews) were administered to farmers in seven Midwestern states. Farmers were coded as retired, organic, residential/lifestyle, limited resource (<$249 K gross annual income), or large resource (>$250 K gross annual income). Issues addressed hazard perceptions, injury prevention measures, resource preferences and delivery, and preferred communication channels. Findings indicated that gender, age, and farming operation influence Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and communication preferences. Retired farmers and those with a higher percentage of income from farming are more likely to use radio as a communication medium. Research results will inform the creation of web-based, customizable educational materials for use by safety and health professionals and the public. Audio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) were recorded to reach farmers who indicated a preference for radio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Perception of Job-Related Risk, Training, and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among Latino Immigrant Hog CAFO Workers in Missouri: A Pilot Study
Safety 2016, 2(4), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety2040025 - 09 Nov 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Hog production in the United States is a large industry that has seen dramatic changes over the last few decades. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are growing in number throughout the country. This pilot study explores the perception of risk, receipt of work-related [...] Read more.
Hog production in the United States is a large industry that has seen dramatic changes over the last few decades. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are growing in number throughout the country. This pilot study explores the perception of risk, receipt of work-related training, provision and usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), and prevention preferences of Latino immigrant hog CAFO workers in Missouri. Forty workers (M age = 36.08 years, SD = 10.04; 92.5% male; 70.0% Mexican) were interviewed. Results indicate that most workers did not perceive their job as dangerous. Limited English proficient workers were significantly less likely to report receiving any work-related training. Although most workers had access to employer provided PPE, usage was inconsistent. As the demographic composition of the farmworker population in the Midwest becomes increasingly comprised of hired immigrant workers, it will be imperative to develop occupational safety and health educational and outreach efforts focused on the needs of these workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Stress, Depression, and Occupational Injury among Migrant Farmworkers in Nebraska
Safety 2016, 2(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety2040023 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Farmworkers, including migrant farmworkers, are at risk for work-related injuries. This study explores the association between stress, depression, and occupational injury among migrant farmworkers in Nebraska. Occupational injury was hypothesized to [...] Read more.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Farmworkers, including migrant farmworkers, are at risk for work-related injuries. This study explores the association between stress, depression, and occupational injury among migrant farmworkers in Nebraska. Occupational injury was hypothesized to significantly increase the odds of farmworkers being stressed and depressed. Two hundred migrant farmworkers (mean age = 33.5 years, standard deviation (SD) = 12.53; 93.0% men, 92.9% of Mexican descent) were interviewed. In bivariate analyses, results indicated that stress and depression were positively associated with occupational injury. Two logistic regression models were developed. Occupational injury was a significant factor for depression, but not for stress. Participants who had been injured on the job were over seven times more likely to be depressed. These results highlight the interconnection between the work environment and mental health. More must be done to foster well-being in rural, agricultural communities. Improving occupational health and safety information and training, integrating behavioral health services into primary care settings, and strengthening the protections of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act may improve conditions for migrant farmworkers in the rural Midwest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Chores at Times of Fatal or Serious Injuries Associated with Tractor Overturns with and without Rollover Protection
Safety 2016, 2(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety2030018 - 19 Sep 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study describes chores when farmers were either fatally or seriously injured and required emergency medical treatment as a result of overturns of tractors with or without rollover protective structures (ROPS). Data from the 2002 Kentucky Farm Tractor Overturn Survey were used for [...] Read more.
This study describes chores when farmers were either fatally or seriously injured and required emergency medical treatment as a result of overturns of tractors with or without rollover protective structures (ROPS). Data from the 2002 Kentucky Farm Tractor Overturn Survey were used for this study. The data were collected by a telephone survey of a population-based random sample of 6063 (7.98%) of Kentucky’s 76,017 farm operators as listed in the Kentucky Agricultural Statistics Service database. Of farm operators interviewed, 551 (9.1%) reported 603 overturns and 5512 (90.9%) reported no overturns in the history of their farm, covering a period from 1925 to February 2002. Only the latest overturn was considered to improve recall accuracy. In addition, since the 1925 to 1959 time period had only 49 (8.1%) of the overturns reported, (14 farmers did not provide the year of most recent overturn); only data from the 1960 to 2002 period (approximately 41 years) were used. After making these adjustments, incidents evaluated included 25 cases (one fatal and four serious nonfatal injuries) that involved ROPS-equipped tractor overturns and 88 cases (24 fatal and 64 serious nonfatal injuries) that involved non-ROPS tractor overturns. Chores at highest risk for tractor overturns were identified for which educational and ROPS retrofit interventions could be emphasized. The highest frequency of overturn-related fatalities and nonfatal injuries were associated with hay harvesting, rotary mowing, and on-farm travel chores. These three chores represented 68.2% of fatal events and 50.0% of permanent and 56.6% of temporary disability overturn incidents. Tragically, in countries such as India and China with emerging mechanization, a large majority of tractors are produced without ROPS that can be expected to result in the same overturn-related epidemic of deaths experienced in highly mechanized countries, despite evidence of the protection provided by ROPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
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