Interventions

Additional Intervention Publications

Thompson B, Coronado GD, Vigoren EM, Griffith WC, Fenske RA, Kissel JC, Shirai JH, and Faustman EM. Para Niños Saludables: A Community Intervention Trial to Reduce Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure in Children of Farmworkers. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 May; 116(5): 687–694. PMID: 18470300.

Comparison of live skit and video delivery styles using presentations with and without fluorescent tracer dyes at pesticide applicator training for promotion of self-protection from dermal exposure. Journal of Pesticide Safety Education. 2003;4:1-9. n/a

Elkind P. Theater as a mechanism for increasing farm health and safety knowledge. Am J of Ind Med Sup. 2002;3:1-9. 

Keifer M. Effectiveness of interventions in reducing pesticide overexposure and poisonings. Am J Prev Med. 2000;18:80-89.

An Incentive Intervention Program to Encourage Ergonomic Behavior in Latino Farm Workers (NIOSH/CDC, 2004-2007)

Eastern Washington University’s Center for Farm Health and Safety used videotaped Spanish language theater, hands-on demonstrations and practice, and photonovela handouts to train workers on sound ergonomic practices. More than 200 migrant and seasonal orchard and packinghouse workers and their supervisors were trained in Washington.

Animal Handling and Safety: Developing a Marker for Program Evaluation (NIOSH/CDC, 1997-2000)

The Magic Valley SAFE KIDS Coalition, based in Twin Falls, Idaho, collaborated with Center investigators to evaluate the effectiveness of the animal handling component of their Farm Safety Day Camps. The project identified observable and measurable safe animal handling behavior, tested the pilot evaluation tool for reliability, and refined the tool.

Ergonomic Evaluation and Development of Best Practices for the Use of Mobile Work Platform Technology in Orchards (WA State MAAF 2009-2011, NIOSH/CDC 2011-2012)


Technological advancement is important to American agriculture and will continue to transform work practices and equipment. The PNASH Center is working with the tree fruit industry to develop safety measures for mobile work platforms, so that potential hazards are prevented.

Farm Safety for Teens (NIOSH/CDC, 1998-2000)

The Skagit County Cooperative Extension office and their community sponsors have developed an annual Safety Workshop to train young workers on tractor and farm machine safety. They invited PNASH to evaluate its effectiveness. We developed a child-relevant safe behavior self-assessment tool; composed additional farm safety and environmental health curriculum to complement the Safety Workshop; assessed parental attitudes about farm health and safety; and evaluated the needs of underserved Hispanic youth in Skagit County.

Improving PPE Effectiveness in Agricultural Applications (MAAF 2012-2013

Our field team is evaluating three personal protective equipment (PPE) ideas that have the potential to reduce pesticide handler exposures. We are testing the field performance of a prototype PPE hat, reusable nitrile gloves, and the currently used respirator cartridge/filter combination.

Improving Safety in the Northwest Logging and Forestry Workforces

In FY2013, a unique issue emerged in Washington State. Land management companies have come forward with concerns regarding the high risk classification for manual (non-mechanized) loggers. The Pacific Northwest’s slopes are steep and often prohibitive to the safer mechanized logging seen used now throughout the US. The high risk classification stems from two issues – the high hazard work taking place, but also avoidance of joining the workers compensation insurance pool/workers designated as independent contractors. The Washington State Logger Safety Initiative was launched in FY2014. In FY2013 PNASH’s Dr. John Garland advised on the Initiative Taskforce on education strategies and we will continue to assist as needed on education and evaluation efforts to understand our logging workforce, their risk factors, and what approaches make a meaningful impact in reducing injuries and fatalities within this workforce. 

Dr. Garland has continued to work in close collaboration with Pacific Northwest contract loggers and state agencies responsible for logging and forestry sector safety. Dr. Garland serves on Oregon’s Forest Activities Board. In FY 2013 he consulted for the release of a Hazard Alert: Chainshot in Logging Hazard. He and Marcy Harrington also work on the NIOSH NORA Forest Sector Council, a group that has addressed national priorities and emerged hazards such as Chain Shot from mechanized equipment.

On a national level PNASH collaborated with Dr. Garland in the sponsorship of a two-day meeting, Forestry Workforce Review and Assessment, September 16-17. The meeting was held in Washington DC to bring together forestry sector leaders and assess recent and anticipated changes in the forestry workforce as well as current and projected workforce development needs, including improvements to workforce safety and health. Representatives came from a broad spectrum of the forestry industry leadership– from logging contractors, land managers, heavy equipment manufacturers, professional forestry and NIOSH AgFF Centers. The key issues identified were: estimating the forestry workforce with limited data sets and discrepancies in national level data; lack of health and non-fatal injury information; loss of expertise when the currently aging workforce retires; and training needs for young and inexperienced workers as they enter the post-recession workforce and replace retiring workers. Outcomes from the meeting include the identification of next step projects, the formation of an Action Planning Committee to address immediate needs and the need to create and sustain an ongoing forestry network.

PNASH is continuing to explore the complex issue of Hispanic contract reforestation workers. Planning is currently underway with Northwest partners for a project addressing the safety needs of this underserved workforce. Forest restoration or service work is the planting, managing (e.g. for fire hazard reduction) and thinning of commercial forestlands – remote and challenging work conducted on both public and private lands. Regionally this work is often done by immigrant Hispanic workers, frequently recruited directly from Mexico and working under a H2B visa for small contractors.

Interventions to Minimize Worker and Family Pesticide Exposures (NIOSH/CDC, 2006-2011)

This field-based study identified, evaluated and disseminated practical pesticide safety measures that reduce pesticide exposures of agricultural workers and their families. These measures were developed on farms and brainstormed by a team of industry experts that included managers, workers, and pesticide safety educators. Direct community involvement was a key element of the project, and participation included 25 orchards and 95 individuals.In addition, the project team moved forward with the development of previously identified needs and solutions for: a protype mixer-loader splash shield; PPE fit and cleaning procedures; and validating a field analytic for pesticide residue using fluoro-specrephotometry. Twenty-one of the original thirty-one identified solutions were used or modified for inclusion in the Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety guide that is now available in English and Spanish. The Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety guide is being disseminated regionally and evaluated for uptake within the industry.

Pilot Project: Evaluation of the WPS Train-the-Trainer Program (PNASH Pilot, 2002-2003)

PNASH was invited by the EPA and the Council of Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) to evaluate a Worker Protection Standard train-the-trainer model curriculum; to determine its feasibility for use throughout the country; to ensure that master trainers obtain the necessary skills, tools, and knowledge to train others; and to impart knowledge to trainers. PNASH developed the instruments used to evaluate the trainers, including those with low literacy.

Pilot Project: Literacy and Safety (PNASH Pilot, 2000-2001)

Eastern Washington University Center for Farm Health and Safety researcher Mark Landa’s studied the links between literacy and safety among Hispanic farm workers. He measured the comprehensibility of graphics such as signs and symbols and text such as paragraphs and labels. His work indicates that less than half of the pesticide safety materials used in his study were understood by the subjects. The more text there was, the harder it was to understand. Education and literacy were only part of the capacity to learn. The highest score in Landa’s comprehension test was achieved by a 70 year-old woman with two years of formal education. Interested parties may obtain a copy of the report by contacting Mark Landa at markl@mfwi.org.

Pilot Project: Oregon Crab Fisherman Safety and Personal Flotation Device Survey (NIOSH 2010-2011)

The Oregon Crab Fishing Safety Assessment evaluated the effectiveness of current US Coast Guard and Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission safety initiatives and safety training programs, and field-tested five different PFDs; focusing on PFD attitudes, worker attitudes, and perceived risks. The results of this study provide feedback for policymakers and the industry considering additional safety measures, and contribute, with a local perspective, to future prevention-focused safety efforts in Oregon. This project launched a new partnership between PNASH, Oregon Health and Sciences University, NIOSH AK Field Station, and the Coast Guard.

Report
Oregon Crab Fishing Safety Assessment, Dec. 2011

Resources
OR-FACE., Crab Fishing Hazard Alert

Pilot Project: Point-of-View Video Analysis of the Impact of a Faller Safety Training Program (NIOSH/CDC, 2006-2009)

Oregon Health and Sciences University researchers conducted a video observation study of loggers at work, concentrating on fallers, using video equipment attached to a hard hat for a first-person point of view. This is a promising technique for research and training.

Pilot Project: Skills Retention in Commercial Fishing Training (NIOSH/CDC, 2008-2009)

Conducted by the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, this project informed federal policy on how often refresher training is need for survival equipment and emergency drill conductors. This project is a good example of research helping policy makers in decision-making. The results of this study are important to commercial fishing vessel safety trainers as well. A further direction for research would be to find out what an optimum interval of refresher training would be by providing periodic refresher training of skills and measuring retention rates.

Reality Tales: Storytelling to Translate Agricultural Health and Safety Research (NIOSH/CDC, 2006-2011)

‘Reality tales,’ used Northwest workers’ injury experiences to teach critical prevention strategies. This project used the oral tradition of storytelling to translate health and safety research and education for agricultural producers and workers on two critical issues: ladder injuries and heat stress. The use of stories to communicate information, values, and lessons is an effective educational strategy. This strategy works because it persuades individuals based on personal experiences, influences them to change their behavior, facilitates remembering, enhances discussion, and engages individuals personally. Stories were shared through radio and trade articles.

Products

  • How did it happen? 2011 Symposium on Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Health and Safety PowerPoint Presentation

 

Reducing Agricultural Worker Risks through New and Emerging Technologies (NIOSH/CDC 2011-2016, MAAF 2012-2013)

Pesticide related illness among agricultural workers remains a significant public health concern in the Pacific Northwest. Tree fruit production currently involves use of pesticides in high volumes, many highly toxic. From our previous studies of risk factors and best practices to reduce exposures, we have concluded that reliance on personal protective equipment is no longer a viable option. PPE is typically the last choice among industrial hygiene control strategies, yet it continues to be the primary option for agricultural workers. Product substitution and engineering controls are far more effective strategies for minimizing exposures. This project takes advantage of changes in pest control practices and pesticide application technologies in tree fruit that may lead to reductions in worker exposures. New chemicals are available to replace highly toxic OP and carbamate pesticides, and their adoption can be hastened by documentation of reduced risks for pesticide handlers. At the same time, new spray technologies are being examined by the tree fruit industry for pest control efficacy, allowing us the opportunity to evaluate how these might reduce worker exposures and pesticide drift.

In FY2013 we developed a suite of laboratory methods for analysis of personal exposure samples for acetamiprid, a relatively new pesticide used in many crops with few published human exposure studies. We completed dermal and exposure monitoring during field application for both azinphos methyl and acetamiprid. Currently, with an indication of a decline in acetamiprid use, we are expanding focus to include additional emerging alternative insecticides.

Use of Theater to Introduce Health and Safety Information in Hispanic Communities (NIOSH/CDC, 1996-2001)

The EWU Center for Farm Health and Safety developed a successful program that uses Spanish-language theater to provide farm workers with information on health hazards and prevention strategies. Based on data gathered from health and safety literature, key informant interviews, and a farm worker focus group, it was apparent that health and safety education must be sensitive to the literacy and language constraints of this worker population. Theater was selected as a method of providing farm health and safety education because it does not require a high level of literacy. The most urgent health and safety needs of Hispanic farm workers and their families were identified through a series of focus groups. The information gathered in the needs assessment was used to develop four one-act plays written and presented in Spanish.

Publication List

Using IPM to Reduce Pyrethroid Pesticide Exposures in Dairy Workers (NIOSH/CDC 2011-2016)

This project partners with Washington State University to reduce pesticide use in dairy operations by introducing IPM practices in these workplaces. We are working with a network of participants to develop a robust and practical IPM program that provides evidence for cost-effective interventions that can reduce pesticide usage in these farm operations. Pyrethroid pesticides are widely used in agriculture and are applied on livestock in the form of sprays, dips, and tags to control flies and other insects, particularly in dairy operations. Pyrethroids also represent a potential workplace health issue in this region. Since 2001, pyrethroid-related illnesses documented by WS-DOH have quadrupled, suggesting that exposures to pyrethroids have increased both at home and in the workplace.

In FY2013 we conducted a survey of dairy operators through a mail-in survey with the cooperation of the WA State Dairy Federation (WSDF); 414 surveys were mailed out to WSDF members in early November 2012, with a reminder sent in December 2012. To date, 78 surveys have been returned (19% response rate). The returned surveys came from dairy farms in 18 counties across the state, with most coming from Whatcom and Yakima Counties. These are counties with relatively high numbers of dairy farms, and the Yakima region is of primary interest to our ongoing study because of the intensive scale and number of large dairy operations. Our survey response indicates significant statewide interest among dairy managers in learning how to improve their on-farm integrated pest management practices. Using alternative reduced risk technologies should result in reduced pesticide usage. The survey results will be compiled into an outreach publication to dairy farmers.

In summer 2013 the IPM intervention of calf hutch bedding trials for the source reduction of fly larvae showed promise as an effective approach for fly control. Continued trials showed a positive correlation between calf-hutch bedding with lower pH and lower fly larvae counts. Lower larvae counts may allow operators to reduce their reliance on pesticides, especially the commonly used pyrethroids that in turn may reduce potential exposure for dairy workers.

In FY2013 we continued to reach out to the dairy farm community through site visits. We have also formed close collaboration with the PNASH Team members of the new "One-health" dairy pilot project to coordinate our work in this industry, share resources and support each other’s project activities.