Cooperstown, New York, United States
Cooperstown, New York, United States

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PubMed | a New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health and Columbia University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of agromedicine | Year: 2016

Risk behaviors are key drivers of occupationally related injuries and illnesses, considerably impacting the uptake and success of injury interventions, technologies, and practices. This is certainly true in the agricultural sector, where farmers often ignore recommended safety practices or have even been known to disable safety technologies. Although research studies have characterized specific individual safety or risk behaviors, few studies have thoroughly examined farmers risk and safety orientations or how these develop in response to environmental and societal exposures. This study utilizes data collected over the past decade with a variety of small to midsize farm personnel to explore the meanings that farmers ascribe to risk and safety and how these influence risk and safety behaviors. In all, over 90 interviews with farmers, farm-wives, and family members were reviewed. Researchers used a grounded theory approach to identify patterns of environmental and societal exposures, as well as their impact on farmers risk and safety orientations. Analysis revealed exposures and orientations to risk and safety, which could be largely explained through the lens of symbolic interactionism. This framework posits that people create a sense-of-self as a way of adjusting and adapting to their environment. For farmers in this study, belief in their ability to persevere allows them to succeed, despite the considerable stressors and challenges they face each day. However, this identity can, at times, be maladaptive when it is applied to safety decisions and hazard exposures. The authors discuss the implications of this research and how it may be used to productively inform future farm safety efforts.


PubMed | a New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of agromedicine | Year: 2014

Respiratory protection in agriculture has lagged behind other industries. Migrant farmworkers often work in dusty environments yet do not receive appropriate, fitted respiratory protection. During May and June of 2013, researchers pilot-tested a respiratory protection program adapted to fit the unique needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. It was implemented in Spanish, with literacy support, at convenient times and locations. Additionally, staff was known to workers, and a farmworker medical center provided medical follow-up. Fifty-six farmworkers participated (68%; 82 invited). Of the participants, 88% were male; 20% reported using respiratory protection. One worker had been fit tested previously; 57% reported being exposed to pesticides. All but six farmworkers passed the medical clearance (91%). The mask most commonly fit to the American-born population was a good fit for only 41% of Latino farmworkers. The fact that two thirds of invited farmworkers participated in the clearance and over half completed mask fitting indicates that the modified protocol meets farmworker needs. A wide range of mask types should be made available for Latino farmworkers.


PubMed | a New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of agromedicine | Year: 2013

Agriculture ranks among industries with the highest rates of occupational injury and fatality. Administrative medical data sets have long been thought to have potential for occupational injury surveillance. This research explores the feasibility of establishing an agricultural injury surveillance system in New York State that combines data from existing electronic sources. Prehospital Care Report (PCR) data containing the nature of the accident, type of injury, time and date, and patient disposition were received. Researchers also obtained both hospital inpatient and emergency department (ED) records for 2007 through 2009 from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS). For SPARCS data, a computer algorithm identified all potential cases of agricultural injury using International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 codes. An attempt was then made to match PCR and SPARCS data using accident date, gender, age, and admitting hospital. Of the PCR records that were matched to SPARCS, 46.8% were found on subsequent inspection to not actually relate to the same incident. Total PCR counts for 2007 and 2008 showed considerable fluctuation, at 2,512,828 and 2,948,841, respectively. A total of 1275, 1336, and 1393 farm injuries were identified in the SPARCS records for 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. This study demonstrates that accurate matching of PCR and SPARCS records requires the use of unique personal identifiers. Further, annual fluctuations in PCR counts preclude their current use in a surveillance system. An electronic data set consisting of SPARCS data could be used for surveillance, but would benefit from the addition of PCR data as these become more consistent.

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