Nurse Murf

Heat Illnesses | Skin Cancers | Orchard Injuries | Children | Tractor | Respiratory | Cancers | Agri-Tourism | Cholinesterase
Morbidity/Mortality | Communication | Zoonotic Pathogens | Ladder | Musculoskeletal | Animals | Grain Bin Entrapment

Nurse Murf is a syndicated column by Helen Murphy-Robinson sharing current medical and safety information for those that work in farming. Born in a partnership between the PNASH Center and the Western Farmer-Stockman, Nurse Murf is an exceptional source of health science and best practice solutions. If you are interested in publishing Nurse Murf contact us at


Heat Related Illnessessun

Beat the Heat Before Illnesses Hit
Recomendaciones para Estrés por Calor

Western Farmer Stockman June 2007

"To handle the heat better, remember these seven factors to help prevent a heat-related illness." Learn more...

Hot Tips on Heat Stress
Good Fruit Grower, July 2007

"Working outdoors in hot weather can put yourself and employees at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stoke. Heat exhaustion is a serious health problem, and heat stroke can kill." Learn more...

Skin Cancersskin cancer

Protecting Skin from Sun’s Rays Today Prevents
Cancerous Growths in the Future

Canceres en la Piel
Western Farmer Stockman, July 2007

“Melanomas are the most dangerous kind of skin cancer and one you need to be able to detect early, because if left untreated, they can spread and be fatal.” Learn more…

Orchard Injuriesskin cancer

Ladders Raise Orchard Injuries
Western Farmer Stockman, August 2007

“Orchard injuries are a major agricultural health and safety issue in Washington state, accounting for 45% to 58% of workers compensation claims.” Learn more...

Children and Pesticides: Risks and Preventing Exposurechildren and pesticides

Take Heed in Contact with OP Pesticides
¿Por qué toda esa alharaca acerca de los organofoforados?
Western Farmer Stockman, September 2007

“The long-term consequences of acute OP poisoning are better understood for adults than children. Compared to adults, children’s pesticide exposure and absorption is greater, and they are also more sensitive to the health effects for several reasons.” Learn more...

Hearing Loss in Agriculturehearing lose

Accept Sound Advice
¿Me Escuchas?
El Ruido en la Agricultura Puede causar Pérdida del Oído

Western Farmer Stockman, October 2007

“Hearing damage comes from a combination of noise intensity and duration: too loud for too long.” Learn more...

The National Tractor Safety Initiativetractor safety

Tractor Safety Advice Saves Lives
Seguridad con el Tractor
Salve una vida con barras protectoras y cinturones de seguridad

Western Farmer Stockman, November 2007

“Many people postpone safety improvements and think accidents only happens to the “other guy”. Tractor overturns, runners, entanglements and highway collisions are the leading cause of death and serious injury in farming.” Learn more…

Agriculture Related Respiratory Problemsrespiratory issues illustration by stacey holland

Respiratory Ailments Nothing to Sneeze at
¿Qué es ese Estornudo y Jadeo?
Western Farmer Stockman, December 2007

“Respiratory problems go with the territory in agriculture. The workplace is filled with irritants ranging from organic and inorganic dusts to chemicals, fumes and animal bacteria.” Learn more...

Pesticides and Cancer:cancer cells
State of the Science to Date

Ag Study Offers Data on Pesticides, Cancer
Western Farmer Stockman, January 2008

“Slightly higher rates of prostate cancer occurred with applicators of restricted-use pesticides.” Learn more…

Making Your Agri-Tourism Child Safeagritourism orchard photo by stacey holland

Focus on Farm Safety when Inviting Public
Western Farmer Stockman, February 2008

“Adults and children visiting a farm need to learn the hazards of a farm environment.” Learn more…

Cholinesterase Monitoringcholinesterase monitoring photo by stacey holland

Washington Program Monitors Enzyme in Pesticide Handlers
Western Farmer Stockman, March 2008

“With a simple blood test that measures the amount of ChE available to the nervous system, employees can be warned that they have been overexposed before symptoms of poisoning occur.” Learn more…

Cholinesterase Inhibition
Buena Salud La Inhibicion del Colinesteraza

Good Fruit Grower, March 2009

“By comparing the work practices and conditions of handlers who had inhibited cholinesterase activity to those who did not, we can begin to confirm which factors are truly associated with pesticide overexposure.” Learn more…

Agriculture Morbidity and Mortality Reportreprot

Statistics Mirror Hazards of Farmwork
Western Farmer Stockman, April 2008

“Compared to other occupations, agriculture was ranked among the most dangerous.” Learn more…


Overcoming Health and Safety Communication Barriers with Staff from Different Cultureshurdles to overcome

Handling Language Barriers Correctly
Western Farmer Stockman, July 2008

“When working with new Hispanic workers, here are a few cultural differences for supervisors to keep in mind” Learn more…

Talking With Your Work Force
Good Fruit Grower, November 2008

“Hands-on training is preferred over written materials because the latter may be intimidating for those without reading proficiency in Spanish.” Learn more…

Zoonotic Pathogen Transmission from Livestock Industrieszoonotic disease

UW Researcher Seeks Methods to Track Path of Dairy Microbes
Western Farmer Stockman, July 2008

“Bacteria may move through the environment as aerosols in the wind, through water, or by hitchhiking” Learn more…

Workers Stories on Ladder Injuriesladder injury photo by stacey holland

Workers Tell of Ladder Injuries Injury
Lastimaduras en las Huertas
Western Farmer Stockman, August 2008

“It was at the end of the day reaching for that last piece of fruit” Learn from real stories…

Musculoskeletal Injuriesmuskuloskeletal injury illustration by stacey holland

Aches, Pains, and Strains
Good Fruit Grower, January 2009

“Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability among workers. Between 1997 and 2005, they cost the agriculture industry $136 million and 862,500 lost workdays.” Learn more…

Injuries from Farm Animalsinjury from farm animals

Use Animal Sense to Prevent Injury
Western Farmer Stockman, Sept 2008

What is the key to preventing injuries from livestock? Knowing what makes your cattle tick. They are motivated by four things: fear, aggression, leaned responses and instinct. Learn more…

Preventing Grain Bin Entrapment

grain bin entrapmentIt’s Just Seconds to Grain Bin Entrapment
Western Farmer Stockman, Oct 2008

How many minutes does it take a worker to become engulfed in flowing grain bin with a common augur? What is the minimum number of people needed for a rescue? Learn the answers and survival tactics…