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Kirkhorn S.R.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Earle-Richardson G.,New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health | Banks R.J.,State Compensation Insurance Fund
Journal of Agromedicine | Year: 2010

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are increasingly recognized as a significant hazard of agricultural occupation. In agricultural jobs with significant physical labor, MSDs are typically the most frequently reported injury. Although not as lethal as tractor roll-overs, MSDs can result in disability, lost work time, and increased production costs. MSDs increase production costs as a result of worker absence, medical and insurance costs, decreased work capacity, and loss of employees to turnover and competition from other less physically demanding industries. This paper will provide an overview of what is currently known about MSDs in agriculture, including high-risk commodities, tasks and work practices, and the related regulatory factors and workers' compensation costs. As agricultural production practices evolve, the types of MSDs also change, as do ergonomic risk factors. One example is the previous higher rates of knee and hip arthritis identified in farmers in stanchion dairies evolving into upper extremity tendonitis, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome now found in milking technicians in dairy milking parlors. This paper summarizes the presentation, "Musculoskeletal Disorders in Labor-Intensive Operations," at the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America/ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conference, "Be Safe, Be Profitable: Protecting Workers in Agriculture," January 27-28, 2010, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. The primary focus of the paper is to address current research on ergonomic solutions for MSDs in agriculture. These include improved tools, carts or equipment, as well as work practices. One of the key challenges in this area pertains to measurement, due to the fact that musculoskeletal strain is a chronic condition that can come and go, with self-reported pain as its only indicator. Alternative measurement methods will be discussed. Finally, the implementation of research into practice is reviewed, with an emphasis on best practices that have been demonstrated to be effective in the agricultural setting, based on worker acceptance and comfort, improved productivity, and decreased MSDs. The paper will provide an overview for agricultural stakeholders as to the current science and practice of ergonomics in agriculture. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Sorensen J.A.,New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
American journal of public health | Year: 2011

We assessed the effect of social marketing incentives on dispositions toward retrofitting and retrofitting behavior among farmers whose tractors lacked rollover protective structures. From 2006 to 2007, we conducted a quasi-randomized controlled trial with 391 farm owners in New York and Pennsylvania surveyed before and after exposure to 1 of 3 tractor retrofitting incentive combinations. These combinations were offered in 3 trial regions; region 1 received rebates; region 2 received rebates, messages, and promotion and was considered the social marketing region; and region 3 received messages and promotion. A fourth region served as a control. The social marketing region generated the greatest increases in readiness to retrofit, intentions to retrofit, and message recall. In addition, postintervention stage of change, intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control levels were higher among farmers who had retrofitted tractors. Our results showed that a social marketing approach (financial incentives, tailored messages, and promotion) had the greatest influence on message recall, readiness to retrofit tractors, and intentions to retrofit tractors and that behavioral measures were fairly good predictors of tractor retrofitting behaviors.

Norberg M.,Umea University | Lindvall K.,Umea University | Jenkins P.L.,New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health | Emmelin M.,Umea University | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: There is a worldwide obesity epidemic, but lack of a simple method, applicable for research or clinical use, to identify individuals at high risk of weight gain. Therefore, the relationship of self-rated health and 10-year percent weight change was evaluated to determine if self-rated health would predict weight change. Methods. From 1990 to 2008, adults aged 30, 40, 50 and 60 years were invited to health surveys that included self-rated health and measured weight and height. ANOVA was used to evaluate the relationship of 10-year percent weight change and self-rated health. Results: The study population consisted of 29,207 participants (46.5% men). There was no relationship between baseline self-rated health and 10-year percent weight change for middle-aged men or women. Conclusions: Self-rated health is not able to predict weight change over a 10-year period in this age group. © 2011 Norberg et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Murphy D.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Myers J.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | McKenzie Jr. E.A.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Cavaletto R.,California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Agromedicine | Year: 2010

There are approximately 4.2 million tractors on farms and ranches across the United States. The average age of tractors is over 25 years and some of the oldest models are the most popular. Older tractors are less safe than newer tractors, and many older tractors are operated by individuals with increased risk of being injured or killed on a tractor. A key tractor safety device, a rollover protective structure (ROPS), is missing from most tractors manufactured before 1985. Data from the US Department of Labor's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) suggest that the production agriculture sector accounts for approximately 70.3% of the 3299 work deaths in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry between 2003 and 2007. Nearly 900 of these incidents involve farm tractors and of these, approximately 43% were from tractor overturns. Efforts to reduce both the number of tractor overturn fatalities and injuries have been underway for years. These efforts primarily encompass worker education/training programs and activities, ROPS design and engineering applications, and research on more effective ways of encouraging tractor owners to retrofit their older tractors with ROPS. This paper reviews various approaches available to reduce the fatalities, serious injuries, and economic burden associated with tractor overturns. Past and current efforts to promote ROPS in the United States and in other countries, current safe tractor operations education and training programs, and ROPS-related safety engineering projects are discussed. Recommendations for advancing safe tractor operation and the number of tractors protected by ROPS are given. This review was prepared for the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conference, "Be Safe, Be Profitable: Protecting Workers in Agriculture," January 2010. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Carrabba J.,New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
Journal of agromedicine | Year: 2012

This intervention delivers agricultural safety information to Mennonite youth, grades 1 to 8 in their schools. The purpose is to reduce injuries in the Groffdale Conference, an Old Order Mennonite community in Yates County, New York. The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) assisted community members to create an appropriate farm safety presentation for Mennonite children. A vital aspect of this approach is that members of the Old Order community are the educators who are delivering the information in a culturally appropriate manner. As an outside organization, it is unlikely that NYCAMH would have access to this population to directly deliver youth farm safety education.

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