Agriculture - 1,538 entries found
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Ergonomic checkpoints in agriculture
Based on good practices, this manual presents practical and concrete guidance on easy-to-implement ergonomic improvements in the agricultural sector, particularly in developing countries. The checkpoints each describe an action, indicate why it is necessary and how to carry it out, and provide further hints and points to remember. They focus on ergonomically designed tools and on best techniques for handling materials and arranging workstations, physical environments, welfare facilities, teamwork methods and community cooperation.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2012. xxvi, 234p. Illus. Price: CHF 40.00; USD 45.00; GBP 35.00; EUR 40.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
Ergonomic_checkpoints_in_agriculture_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Sas K., eds.
Maintenance in agriculture - A safety and health guide
This guide describes the main hazards and risks associated with maintenance of agricultural equipment and the most common causes of accidents and ill health. It also provides advice on risk management, examples of good practice in accident prevention and policies and campaigns at national level. Finally, it includes examples of checklists for safe maintenance in agriculture.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain, Sep. 2011. 57p. Illus. 66 ref.
Maintenance_in_agriculture_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Safety and health in agriculture
La sécurité et la santé dans l'agriculture [in French]
Seguridad y salud en la agricultura [in Spanish]
This code of practice is intended to raise awareness of the hazards and risks associated with agriculture and promote their effective management and control; to help prevent occupational accidents and diseases and improve the working environment in practice; to encourage governments, employers, workers and other stakeholders to cooperate to prevent accidents and diseases; to promote more positive attitudes and behaviour towards occupational safety and health in agriculture throughout the sector; ensure that good workplace health and safety practices are applied to all workers in the workplace regardless of age or gender. The code was adopted by an international group of experts meeting in Geneva from 25 to 29 October 2010.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2011. xx, 327p. 57 ref.
Safety_and_health_in_agriculture_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
La_sécurité_et_la_santé_dans_l'agriculture_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Seguridad_y_salud_en_la_agricultura_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in Spanish]
Smit L.A., Heederik D., Doekes G., Koppelman G.H., Bottema R.W., Postma D.S., Wouters I.M.
Endotoxin exposure, CD14 and wheeze among farmers: A gene-environment interaction
The objective of this study was to assess whether the association between occupational endotoxin exposure and wheeze is modified by innate immunity gene variants. Twenty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CD14, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), TLR2, MD2 and MyD88 were genotyped in 408 agricultural workers with spirometry and questionnaire data on asthma symptoms available. Personal airborne endotoxin exposure levels were estimated in 249 exposure measurements. The association between occupational endotoxin exposure and wheeze in agricultural workers was significantly modified by genetic variants in CD14 and MD2. Findings suggest that carriers of the functional CD14/-260 C allele are more responsive to endotoxin exposure than T allele homozygotes. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2011, Vol.68, No.11, p.826-831. Illus. 33 ref.
Endotoxin_exposure_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Pathak M.K., Fareed M., Bihari V., Mathur N., Srivastava A.K., Kuddus M., Nair K.C.
Cholinesterase levels and morbidity in pesticide sprayers in North India
The objective of this study was to compare cholinesterase activity and symptoms in knapsack and tractor-mounted pesticide sprayers in North India. Blood cholinesterase activity and symptoms were recorded for 42 knapsack and 66 tractor-mounted sprayers attending a health camp in 2009 and for 30 non-exposed controls. One hundred and eight of 197 (55%) eligible sprayers consented to participate. Mean acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase activity was 33 and 60% lower, respectively, in knapsack sprayers than in controls and 56 and 62% lower, respectively, in tractor-mounted sprayers than in controls AChE depletion was greater in tractor-mounted sprayers than in knapsack sprayers. In knapsack sprayers compared to controls, odds ratios (OR) were significantly raised for musculoskeletal symptoms (OR 3.9) but not for other symptoms. In tractor-mounted sprayers compared to controls, ORs were significantly raised for neurological (OR 7), ocular (OR 8.7), respiratory (OR 5.14), cardiovascular (OR 7.5), gastrointestinal (OR 5.43) and musculoskeletal (OR 6.12) symptoms but not for dermal symptoms (OR 1.93). The risk of cholinesterase inhibition and symptoms is greater in tractor-mounted than in knapsack pesticide sprayers and in both groups compared to controls. Occupational exposure in pesticide sprayers in North India needs better control, perhaps through redesign of spraying equipment.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.512-514. 9 ref.
Safe maintenance in agriculture
Maintenance sûre dans le secteur agricole [in French]
Mantenimiento seguro en la agricultura [in Spanish]
Agricultural workers suffer 1.7 times the average rate of non-fatal occupational accidents and three times the rate of fatal accidents, making the sector particularly hazardous. In addition to the hazards and risks usually present on farms, maintenance tasks bear some specific hazards. Self-employment and the fact that farming is often a family business are an additional challenge for occupational safety and health in agriculture. This information sheet provides concise information on how to carry out maintenance tasks safely in the agricultural sector. It is also available in several other European languages.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain, 2011. 2p. Illus. 1 ref.
Facts_99/EN.pdf [in English]
Facts_99/FR.pdf [in French]
Facts_99/ES.pdf [in Spanish]
Milosavljevic S., Gregory D.E., Pal P., Carman A.B., Milburn P.D., Callaghan J.P.
The interaction between skill, postures, forces and back pain in wool handling
Wool handling is an important rural occupation where workers process 200 or more fleeces daily, separating them into various quality components. Loads and postures they experience carry substantial risk of low back pain (LBP). Although a formal skill training structure exists, interaction with loads and LBP is unknown. This study examined whether skill and LBP influenced trunk postures and loads of 60 wool handlers representing three skill levels. LBP prevalence ranged from 20% for junior (lowest skill) to 45% for open class (highest skill) wool handlers. Open class wool handlers demonstrated increased lateral bend and more axially twisted postures, generating greater medio-lateral shear forces and lateral bend and axial twist moments. LBP was associated with open class wool handlers spending more time in severe axially twisted postures. These findings suggest that skill-based training needs to be reviewed to reduce the quantity of axially twisted posture which may help reduce the prevalence of LBP in this workforce.
Applied Ergonomics, Nov. 2011, Vol.42, No.6, p.801-806. Illus. 15 ref.
Frost G., Brown T., Harding A.H.
Mortality and cancer incidence among British agricultural pesticide users
The objective of this study was to compare mortality and cancer incidence experienced by a cohort of United Kingdom pesticide users to that of the general population. Altogether, 62,960 pesticide users (94% male) were followed up between 1987 and 2005. All-cause mortality was lower for both men (SMR 0.58) and women (SMR 0.71) compared to the general population. Mortality and incidence were below those expected for all cancers combined among men (SMR 0.71, SIR 0.85), particularly for cancers of the lip, oral cavity and pharynx, digestive organs and respiratory system. The incidence of testicular cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer and multiple myeloma were above expected. Mortality from injury by machinery was significantly above expected for men (SMR 4.21). This study suggests that pesticide users are generally healthier than the national population but may have excesses of non-melanoma skin cancer, testicular cancer and multiple myeloma.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61. p.303-310. Illus. 20 ref.
Broding H.C., Frank P., Hoffmeyer F., Bünger J.
Course of occupational asthma depending on the duration of workplace exposure to allergens - A retrospective cohort study in bakers and farmers
This study investigated the importance of exposure duration, work cessation, and confounding factors on allergic obstructive airway disease in bakers and farmers. Patients with confirmed allergic occupational airway disease registered in a German Occupational Health Inspectorate received a mailed questionnaire on their respiratory health and employment status. Relations between duration of exposure and course of disease were analyzed by multi-factorial logistic regression. A total of 178 patients (65 farmers and 113 bakers) aged between 24 and 74 were included in the analysis. Farmers had much more severe respiratory complaints than bakers, with a significantly larger proportion having been employed over ten years (farmers 77.5% and bakers 36.6%). Other findings are discussed.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2011, Vol.18, p.35-40. Illus. 19 ref.
Course_of_occupational_asthma.pdf [in English]
Tsapko V.G., Chudnovets A.J., Sterenbogen M.J., Papach V.V., Dutkiewicz J., Skórska C., Krysińska-Traczyk E., Golec M.
Exposure to bioaerosols in the selected agricultural facilities of the Ukraine and Poland - A review
The aim of this literature survey was to review studies on bioaerosols carried out in the years 1972-2009 in the following branches of the agricultural sector in Ukraine and Poland: animal farms for cows and pigs; animal feed facilities; production of biofuel from rapeseed; herb farms and herb processing facilities. Where available, data on airborne dust and microorganism concentrations, microflora species and airborne bacterial toxin concentrations were identified. Bioaerosol concentrations were found to depend on the specificity of the setting, the type of technological operations, the degree of mechanization, the properties of processed materials, temperature and humidity, and airborne dust concentrations. It is concluded that the airborne biological risk factors in observed concentrations may exert harmful effects on the health of exposed workers.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2011, Vol.18, p.19-27. 72 ref.
Exposure_to_bioaerosols.pdf [in English]
Verma A., Schulz M.R., Quandt S.A., Robinson E.N., Grzywacz J.G., Chen H., Arcury T.A.
Eye health and safety among Latino farmworkers
Farmworkers face a variety of risk factors for eye injuries. This survey of eye protection use and of eye safety knowledge and beliefs involved 300 Latino farmworkers in North Carolina. Few farmworkers reported using eye protection (8.3%); most (92.3%) reported that employers did not provide eye protection. Approximately 70% reported that they were not trained in preventing eye injuries; 81% believed that their chances of getting an eye injury were low. Many farmworkers chose to take risks in order to save time. Interventions are needed that target farmworker knowledge and beliefs about eye safety.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2011, Vol.16, No.2, p.143-152. 24 ref.
Depczynski J., Challinor K., Fragar L.
Changes in the hearing status and noise injury prevention practices of Australian farmers from 1994 to 2008
This study compares the hearing status and behaviours in 1994-2001 and in 2002-2008 among a population of Australian 8309 farmers having participated in a noise injury prevention programme. Each participant was subjected to an audiometry and responded to a questionnaire. Over this period, there was a 12.5% overall improvement in the proportion of farmers with normal hearing in left ears and significant improvements in the mean hearing threshold of both ears from 1 to 6 kHz. The mean hearing thresholds for 35- to 44-year-old farmers exposed to firearms, chainsaws, workshop tools, heavy machinery and tractors were significantly higher compared to non-exposed groups. The non-use of hearing protection devices by young farmers (15 to 24 years old) was associated with hearing loss for those using un-cabined tractors. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2011, Vol.16, No.2, p.127-142. Illus. 16 ref.
Blanco-Muñoz J., Lacasaña M.
Practices in pesticide handling and the use of personal protective equipment in Mexican agricultural workers
In this study, information was collected by means of questionnaires from 99 Mexican agricultural workers (35 women and 64 men) concerning sociodemographic data, agricultural practices, use of pesticides, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk perception. As expected, men handled pesticides more frequently than women (67% versus 20%). The workers carried out several agricultural tasks, used a great number of pesticide products (59 commercial brands of pesticides, 33 active ingredients, and 20 chemical families), used mostly manual application equipment, and showed a low rate of correct usage of PPE (2%) and insufficient levels of proper hygienic practices. In addition, storage of pesticide products and application equipment at home was frequent among this group of workers (42%), and provides a significant source of exposure for the workers' families. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2011, Vol.16, No.2, p.117-126. 30 ref.
Somervell P.D., Conway G.A.
Does the small farm exemption cost lives?
Congress has exempted farms with fewer than 11 employees from enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Three states (California, Oregon and Washington) do not observe the exemption. This study compared rates of fatal occupational injury in agriculture, by year, in 1993-2007, in California, Oregon and Washington (aggregated), and the remaining states (as two aggregated groups). Fatality rates were approximately 1.6 to 3 times as high in both groups of states observing the small farm exemption as in the group of three states not observing it. Comparisons excluding the agriculture industry showed weaker differences. Implications of these findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.461-466. Illus. 19 ref.
Horsburgh S., Langley J.D.
Recruitment and retention of farm owners and workers for a six-month prospective injury study in New Zealand: A feasibility study
Agricultural workers experience high rates of occupational injury. However there is a lack of analytic studies which provide detailed occupational exposure data to inform intervention development. A feasibility study simulating a six month prospective cohort study was designed and undertaken. The levels of farm and worker participation and retention were analyzed to determine the feasibility of the methods for wider deployment. Recruitment levels were comparable with other studies, with 24% of farms and 36% of non-owner workers participating. Once recruited, retention was high at 85% and 86% respectively. The main challenges identified were in the recruitment process. Once recruited, farms and workers tended to complete the study, indicating that prospective studies in the agricultural workforce may be feasible. Issues encountered and potential solutions for future studies are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2011, No.6:16, 35p. 32 ref.
Recruitment_and_retention.pdf [in English]
Dimich-Ward H., Beking K.J., Dybuncio A., Bartlett K.H., Karlen B.J., Chow Y., Chan-Yeung M.
Respiratory health of two cohorts of terminal grain elevator workers studied 30 years apart
This study evaluated the respiratory health of two cohorts of Canadian grain terminal elevator workers who participated in one of either respiratory health surveys undertaken in 1978 and 2008. Questionnaire and spirometry data from 584 workers from the 1978 survey and 215 workers from the 2008 survey were compared using logistic regression and general linear modeling. The geometric means of area samples of grain dust averaged 8.28 mg/m3 in 1978 and 2.06 mg/m3 in 2008. Workers in the 1978 survey had a significantly higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms (with the largest adjusted odds ratio of 3.78 for shortness of breath), a lower prevalence of atopic conditions and lower mean lung function. Current grain workers had a lower risk of respiratory health consequences and a greater prevalence of atopic conditions than workers surveyed 30 years prior, most likely associated with reduced exposure to grain dust in the terminal elevator environment.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.263-268. Illus. 23 ref.
Milosavljevic S., McBride D.I., Bagheri N., Vasiljev R.M., Carman A.B., Rehn B., Moore D.
Factors associated with quad bike loss of control events in agriculture
The objective of this study was to determine personal and workplace factors associated with quad bike loss of control events (LCEs) on New Zealand farms. Rural community databases were used to sample 130 farmers and farm workers. Fieldwork and survey investigated for prevalence of LCEs, farm type, farm terrain, personal measures and vehicle driving exposures. Seventy nine workers (61%) described a total of 200 LCEs. Increased driver height, increased body mass, non-flat farm terrain, increased driving speed and distance and greater whole body vibration exposure were significantly associated with LCEs. Taller and heavier drivers of quad bikes should be particularly vigilant for risk of an LCE. Vehicle speed, distance driven and choice of driving routes over difficult terrain are potentially modifiable factors which have behavioural components and should be considered as management strategies for reducing risk of on-farm quad bike LCEs.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.41, p.317-321. Illus. 21 ref.
MacFarlane E., Simpson P., Benke G., Sim M.R.
Suicide in Australian pesticide-exposed workers
Epidemiological research has observed that workers with exposure to anticholinesterase pesticides, and particularly those with a history of acute overexposure, may be at increased risk of depression. However, there is little published research about the risk of suicide in relation to pesticide exposure. A nested case-control study was performed within a retrospective cohort study of pesticide-exposed workers. Ninety male suicide deaths and 270 male controls were matched by age bands, state of residence and live status. Cholinesterase inhibition was determined using subject-specific biomonitoring records collected at the time of exposure. This study did not find an elevated suicide risk associated with use of any major class of pesticide and there was little evidence that overexposure was associated with increased risk of suicide.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.259-264. 29 ref.
From olives to oil - How to be heard in oil mills
De l'olive à l'huile - Se faire entendre dans les moulins [in French]
Production of olive oil is a seasonal and often secondary activity for olive growers. As a consequence, it is difficult to convey and enforce safety and health recommendations, particularly with respect to the most common hazard in oil mills, namely noise, which can easily exceed 100 dB. This article explains the work carried out in olive oil mills, the exposures encountered and the appropriate protective measures to be implemented, particularly against noise.
Travail et sécurité, Feb. 2011, No.714, p.45-47. Illus.
De_l'olive_à_l'huile.pdf [in French]
Effects of a low intensity intervention to increase hearing protector use among noise-exposed workers
Farm operators experience exposure to high noise and high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss, but use of hearing protection in this worker group is low. The purpose of this study was to test a brief intervention to increase farm operators' use of hearing protection. A random sample of 32 members of a farmers' organization was supplied a variety of hearing protectors. Participants received an assortment of hearing protectors by mail with manufacturer's instructions for use. Mean pre-intervention hearing protector use when in high noise in this group was 23%. Of the 32 participants, 27 were exposed to hazardous noise during the study period. Post-intervention mean use of HPDs was 64%, an increase of 41%. Results of this study suggest that overall, hearing protectors were acceptable to farm operators, and that a brief mailed intervention is feasible.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.210-215. Illus. 34 ref.
Patel S.K., Varma M.R., Kumar A.
Agricultural injuries in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh, India
Agricultural injury data were collected for the period 1996-2000 for a district in Northern India with a total population of 1.4 million, of which 0.75 million are associated with agricultural activities. The agricultural injuries incidence rate was 0.8 per thousand workers per year. Out of all agricultural injuries, 9% injuries were fatal. The highest number of injury victims were in the age group of 30-44 years. The highest percentages of injured victims were literate but schooled to less than high-school level. The monetary loss due to agricultural injuries in the study area was estimated to be about USD 730,000 per year. Recommendations are proposed for minimizing agricultural injuries.
Safety Science, Feb. 2010, Vol.48, No.2, p.222-229. Illus. 34 ref.
Agricultural_injuries_in_Etawah_district_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Dayton S.B., Sandler D.P., Blair A., Alavanja M., Beane Freeman L.E., Hoppin J.A.
Pesticide use and myocardial infarction incidence among farm women in the Agricultural Health Study
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between pesticide use and myocardial infarction (MI) among farm women. Logistic regression was used to evaluate pesticide use and self-reported incident nonfatal MI among women in the Agricultural Health Study. Of those MI-free at enrollment (n = 22,425), 168 reported an MI after enrollment. No association was seen with pesticide use overall. Six of 27 individual pesticides evaluated were significantly associated with nonfatal MI, with odds ratios >1.7. These chemicals were used by <10% of the cases, and their use was often correlated, making it difficult to attribute the risk elevation to a specific pesticide. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2010, Vol.52, No.7, p.693-697. 23 ref.
Pesticide_use_and_myocardial_infarction_incidence_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Schilmann A., Lacasaña M., Blanco-Muñoz J., Aguilar-Garduño C., Salinas-Rodríguez A., Flores-Aldana M., Cebrián M.E.
Identifying pesticide use patterns among flower growers to assess occupational exposure to mixtures
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to identify seasonal pesticide use patterns among flower growers in Mexico. Data on pesticide use were obtained by means of questionnaires addressed to the person in charge of the participating flower growing farms. Complete information was obtained for 88 farms and 23 pesticides were included in the analysis. Findings are presented.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2010, Vol.67, No.5, p.323-329. 36 ref.
O'Shaughnessy P.T., Donham K.J., Peters T.M., Taylor C., Altmaier R., Kelly K.M.
A task-specific assessment of swine worker exposure to airborne dust
A task-based analysis of personal airborne dust exposures was performed in two swine confinement facilities in the USA used to house sows and their litters. Airborne particulate levels were assessed during summer, winter, and spring. Personal aerosol measurements of workers were made with a photometer every 15 sec and compared with an integrated concentration measurement made with an inhalable dust sampler. Task type and time period were recorded by the workers over an 8h work shift. There was a significant difference in dust concentrations between seasons, with winter months providing the highest levels (geometric mean 3.76 mg/m3). The application of a general linear model of log-transformed task concentrations relative to site, season and task demonstrated significant differences among all three covariates. Tasks performed near moving animals, especially the weaning process, resulted in the greatest concentrations. These results indicate the need to evaluate the concentration levels for separate tasks during multi-task work shifts, such as swine rearing, to optimize efforts to minimize exposures by focusing on high-concentration tasks.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2010, Vol.7, No.1, p.7-13. Illus. 33 ref.
A_task-specific_assessment.pdf [in English]
Akdur O., Ozkan S., Durukan P., Avsarogullari L., Koyuncu M., Ikizceli I.
Machine-related farm injuries in Turkey
Traumas connected with agricultural production can result in serious injuries and mortality. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of agricultural machinery-related work injury cases admitted to hospital emergency departments of a region of Turkey, and to assess factors related to injury severity and hospital admission. All the cases presented related to injuries caused by work with agricultural machines between January 2006 and November 2007 were included in the study. Information was collected concerning the demographic structures of the patients. Injury sites, injury types, and clinical features were recorded. Initial injury severity scores of all the cases were diagnosed at hospital admission. The most common injuries were tractors (46% of cases), and all of these were fall traumas; 18.9% of the cases was considered slight injuries, 43.2% moderate, 37.9% severe. Two cases resulted in fatality. Findings suggest that tractors are the most dangerous agricultural machines, and falls from tractors as the most common injury mechanism among machine-related injuries, especially for young people.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2010, Vol.17, p.59-63. Illus. 25 ref.
Machine-related_farm_injuries.pdf [in English]
Marucci-Wellman H., Leamon T.B., Binh T.T., Diep N.B., Willetts J.L., Wegman D.H., Kriebel D.
The work-related burden of injury in a rapidly industrialising commune in Viet Nam
In this community-based injury surveillance study, workplaces in a Vietnamese region were identified and ranked by the magnitude of injuries (or highest injury count), the risk (highest incidence rates) and the burden (the effect of injuries on the livelihoods of workers). A total of 591 injuries occurring in the month prior to survey administration were analyzed. 482 were attributed to work activities (82%), yielding an annualised incidence rate of 1001/1000 full time employee equivalents (FTE). The highest number of injuries (299) occurred in the manufacturing sector, followed by agriculture (70). The highest rate of injury was in the transport, storage and communications sector (annualised IR 1583/1000 FTE), followed by manufacturing (1235/1000 FTE) and agriculture (844/1000 FTE). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2010, Vol.67, No.4. p.244-250. 14 ref.
Arcury T.A., Grzywacz J.G., Talton J.W., Chen H., Vallejos Q.M., Galván L., Barr D.B., Quandt S.A.
Repeated pesticide exposure among North Carolina migrant and seasonal farmworkers
The objective of this study was to document the multiple and repeated pesticide absorption experienced by farmworkers in an agricultural season and their risk factors. Data were collected from 196 farmworkers four times at monthly intervals in 2007. Urine samples were tested for 12 pesticide urinary metabolites. Questionnaire data provided measures of exposure risks. Farmworkers had at least one detection for many pesticide urinary metabolites: 84.2% had at least one detection for acephate, 88.8% for 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol. Furthermore, most farmworkers had multiple detections for specific metabolites: 64.8% had two or more detections for acephate, 64.8% for 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol, 79.1% for 3-phenoxybenzoic acid, and 86.7% for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Housing type had a consistent significant association with metabolite detections. Implications of these findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.802-813. 36 ref.
Wang L., Wheeler K., Bai L., Stallones L., Dong Y., Ge J., Xiang H.
Alcohol consumption and work-related injuries among farmers in Heilongjiang Province, People's Republic of China
This population-based survey aimed to study the association between alcohol use and work-related agricultural injury. Farmers in a north-eastern province of China were questioned about work-related injury in the past year, alcohol use, farming practices and sociodemographic factors. The Chi-square test and logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the role of alcohol drinking in agricultural injuries. Among 2,050 farmers who completed the survey, the 12-month prevalence of work-related injury was 12.2%. The leading external cause of injury was exposure to mechanical force. The odds of injury among farmers with past month drinking, who drank distilled spirits and reported intoxication were respectively 1.77, 1.89 and 2.12. The odds of injury also significantly increased with greater average amounts of pure alcohol per day, with increased frequency of drinking per week and with greater reported years of drinking. Each alcohol use variable was associated with injury in logistic regression models while controlling for sex, age, years of farm work, months of farm work in the past 12 months, driving a motor vehicle and agricultural machinery use.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.825-835. 35 ref.
Osborne A., Blake C., McNamara J., Meredith D., Phelan J., Cunningham C.
Musculoskeletal disorders among Irish farmers
The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), identify the most commonly affected body regions and to explore what factors may influence the development of the most common MSDs among farmers in Ireland. A questionnaire survey of 600 Irish farmers was conducted. Of the 600 farmers, 56% had experienced a MSD in the previous year. The most commonly-experienced MSDs were back pain (37%) and neck/shoulder pain (25%). Other MSDs experienced in the previous year included knee pain (9%), hand-wrist-elbow pain (9%), ankle/foot pain (9%) and hip pain (8%). Overall, MSDs were more common in farmers working longer hours. Back pain was more prevalent in full-time farmers, while prevalence of hip pain was greater in farmers who were older, full time, farming for longer and working for longer hours.
Occupational Medicine, 2010, Vol.60, p.598-603. 30 ref.
Sanz Albert F., Abril Muñoz I., Delgado Cobos P.
Plant protection products: Preventive features of application equipment
Productos fitosanitarios: medidas preventivas en los equipos de aplicación [in Spanish]
The purpose of this technical note is to help select application equipment for plant protection products, aimed at minimizing the risk of exposure to these products. Selection criteria are proposed by application method and type of equipment. Measures that help prevent loss and leakage that may result in product contact with the workers are also considered. Finally, the note discusses proper use, maintenance and cleaning of the equipment.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 8p. Illus. 11 ref.
NTP_883.pdf [in Spanish]
Feola G., Binder C.R.
Why don't pesticide applicators protect themselves? Exploring the use of personal protective equipment among Colombian smallholders
The misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticide application was investigated among smallholders in Colombia. Findings suggest that the descriptive social norm was significantly influencing PPE use. The following were also important: having experienced pesticide-related health problems; age; the share of pesticide application carried out; the perception of PPE hindering work. Interestingly, the influence of these factors differed for different pieces of PPE. Since conformity to the social norm is a source of rigidity in the system, behavioural change may take the form of a discontinuous transition. Suggestions for triggering a transition towards more sustainable PPE use are formulated.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2010, Vol.16, p.11-23. Illus. 57 ref.
Cho K.J., Jones S., Jones G., McKay R., Grinshpun S.A., Dwivedi A., Shukla R., Singh U., Reponen T.
Effect of particle size on respiratory protection provided by two types of N95 respirators used in agricultural settings
This study compared size-selective workplace protection factors (WPFs) of an N95 elastomeric respirator (ER) and an N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) in agricultural environments. Twenty-five healthy farm workers ranging in age from 20 to 30 years voluntarily participated in this study. Altogether, eight farms were included representing three different types: two horse farms, three pig barns and three grain handling sites. Subjects wore the ER and FFR while performing their daily activities, such as spreading hay, feeding livestock and shovelling. Aerosol concentrations in an optical particle size range of 0.7-10μm were determined simultaneously inside and outside the respirator during the first and last 15 min of a 60-min experiment. For every subject, size-selective WPFs were calculated in 1-min intervals and averaged over 30 min. Results show that the N95 ER and FFR tested in the study provided an expected level of protection for workers on agricultural farms against particles ranging from 0.7 to 10μm. WPFs for the ER were higher than the FFR for all particle size ranges. WPFs for both respirator types increased with increasing particle size.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Nov. 2010, Vol.7, p.622-627. Illus. 20 ref.
Nonnenmann M.W., Anton D.C., Gerr F., Yack H.J.
Dairy farm worker exposure to awkward knee posture during milking and feeding tasks
Musculoskeletal disorders are common among agricultural workers, particularly among dairy farm workers, who have been specifically identified as being at risk for knee osteoarthritis. Physical risk factors that may contribute to knee osteoarthritis include awkward postures of the knee, such as kneeling or squatting. The purpose of this study was to quantify exposure to awkward knee posture among dairy farm workers during milking and feeding tasks in two common types of milking facilities (stanchion and parlor). Twenty-three dairy farm workers performed milking and feeding tasks; 11 worked in a stanchion milking facility, and 12 worked in a parlor milking facility. An electrogoniometer was used to measure knee flexion during 30 min of the milking and feeding tasks. Findings are discussed. Milking in a stanchion facility results in a greater duration of exposure to awkward posture of the knee compared with milking in a parlor facility.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2010, Vol.7, p.483-489. Illus. 35 ref.
Occupational respiratory allergy to plant protection products
Allergie respiratoire professionnelle aux produits phytosanitaires [in French]
Occupational respiratory diseases due to pesticides have been reported with certain fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Apart from accidental exposures, documented clinical observations are rare. Some recent epidemiological studies conducted in agricultural regions have, however, reported an association between symptoms of rhinitis, asthma and other signs of respiratory irritation, and the use of certain pesticides. The main occupations are agricultural workers (especially pesticide applicators), workers manufacturing these products and pest control workers. The etiological diagnosis is based on medical history. Prevention techniques include collective protection measures and personal protective equipment to reduce exposure. These conditions can be recognized as being occupational diseases warranting compensation in the French general social security system for certain products, or in the agricultural system.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2010, No.124, p.471-482. Illus. 39 ref.
TR_50.pdf [in French]
Tiwari P.S., Gite L.P., Majumder J., Pharade S.C., Singh V.V.
Push/pull strength of agricultural workers in central India
Agricultural workers have to exert push/pull forces in the horizontal plane while operating many farm tools and equipment. However, very little data are available on push/pull strength of agricultural workers. A study was therefore carried out to collect these data on male as well as female agricultural workers, using a specially-developed strength measurement system. Data were collected on 920 subjects from different parts of Madhya Pradesh State in central India of which 604 were male and 316 were female agricultural workers. Findings are discussed. The values obtained can be used to set limits in the design of manually operated farm tools and equipment as well as for manual materials handling activities involving pushing/pulling, depending on the frequency of movement.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2010, Vol.40, p.1-7. Illus. 39 ref.
Shulruf B., Balemi A.
Risk and preventive factors for fatalities in all-terrain vehicle accidents in New Zealand
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) in agriculture are associated with a large number of accidents, many of which result in a severe or fatal outcome. The main objective of this study was to identify the risk factors for ATV-related fatal injuries in order to support the design of effective interventions. Using data held by the New Zealand Department of Labour, the current study analysed 355 cases of serious harm accidents associated with ATVs including 45 fatalities. Findings are discussed.
Accident Analysis and Prevention, Mar. 2010, Vol.42, No.2, p.612-618. Illus. 27 ref.
Montgomery M.P., Kamel F., Hoppin J.A., Beane Freeman L.E., Alavanja M.C., Sandler D.P.
Effects of self-reported health conditions and pesticide exposures on probability of follow-up in a prospective cohort study
This study investigated the potential for selection bias due to non-participation in the follow-up of a large prospective cohort study. Licensed pesticide applicators (52,395 private; 4,916 commercial) in the Agricultural Health Study provided demographic, health and pesticide exposure information at enrollment (1993-1997) and in a 5-year follow-up telephone interview. Factors associated with non-participation in the follow-up were identified using multiple logistic regression analyses. Potential for selection bias was evaluated by comparing exposure-disease associations between the entire cohort and the follow-up subset. Sixty-six percent of private and 60% of commercial applicators completed the follow-up interview. Private and commercial applicators who did not complete the follow-up reported at enrollment younger age, less education, lower body mass index, poorer health behaviors but fewer health conditions, and lower pesticide use. Estimates of exposure-disease associations calculated with and without non-participants did not indicate strong selection bias.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.486-496. 10 ref.
Borre K., Ertle L., Graff M.
Working to eat: Vulnerability, food insecurity, and obesity among migrant and seasonal farmworker families
In this study on the relationship between food insecurity and obesity among migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFWs), 36 Latin American MSFW families in North Carolina completed interviews, attended focus groups and were visited at home. It was found that 63.8% of the families were food insecure and of those, 34.7% experienced hunger; 32% of pre-school children were food insecure. Food secure families spent more money on food. Obesity was prevalent in adults and children but the relationship to food insecurity remains unclear.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.443-462. Illus. 77 ref.
Musculoskeletal disorders in labor-intensive agriculture
This article gives an overview of the extent of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in agriculture, together with a historical perspective on how ergonomics has been used to reduce the health effects of labour-intensive agriculture. A summary of exposure to MSD physical risk factors within various classes of crops, along with various administrative and engineering controls for abating MSDs in agriculture, is given. These controls range from programmed rest breaks to mechanized or partially-mechanized operations. Worker-based approaches such as prone carts and platforms or load-transfer devices hold promise in combating the prevalent stooped work in agriculture. Including the worker as an integral contributor to all aspects of developing and implementing an intervention, and considering the psychosocial and socio-cultural aspects of the work environment are crucial elements of effective interventions for reducing MSDs. Despite the advent progress in new technologies in agricultural practices, reliance on labour, especially in fresh market fruits and vegetables, will always be a major cornerstone of agriculture for at least the foreseen future.
Applied Ergonomics, Oct. 2010, Vol.41, No.6, p.738-743. Illus. 36 ref.
Villarejo D., McCurdy S.A., Bade B., Samuels S., Lighthall D., Williams D.
The health of California's immigrant hired farmworkers
Hispanic immigrant workers dominate California's hired farm workforce. Little is known about their health status; even less is known about those lacking employment authorization. The California Agricultural Workers Health Survey (CAWHS) was a statewide cross-sectional household survey conducted in 1999. Six hundred fifty-four workers completed in-person interviews, comprehensive physical examinations and personal risk behavior interviews. The CAWHS PE Sample is comprised mostly of young Mexican men who lack health insurance and present elevated prevalence of indicators of chronic disease: overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, and high serum cholesterol. The self-reported, cumulative, farm work career incidence of paid claims for occupational injury under workers compensation was 27% for males and 11% for females. The survey finds elevated prevalence of indicators of chronic disease but lack of health care access. Participants without employment authorization reported a greater prevalence of high-risk behaviors, such as binge drinking, and were less knowledgeable about workplace protection.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.387-397. 33 ref.
Colorado Soriano M., Rey-Stolle Prado L., Sanz Albert F., Abril Muños I., Sanz Albert F., Delgado Cobos P.
Evaluation of the risk of exposure to microbiological biopesticides
Evaluación del riesgo por exposición a bioplaguicidas microbiológicos [in Spanish]
The purpose of increasingly substituting chemical pesticides by biological pesticides in conjunction with other measures is to considerably reduce the risk of exposure. The appearance on the market of these new products warrants a review of the methods currently used to evaluate exposures to pesticides, given their different nature. This article describes the hazard evaluation methodology to be followed in case of work involving exposure to microbiological plant protection products in order to ensure workers' protection. It underscores the importance of information printed on the label.
Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo, Dec. 2010, No.60, p.14-19. Illus. 11 ref.
Evaluación_del riesgo.pdf [in Spanish]
International Labour Organization (ILO), International Union of Food, Farm and Hotel Workers
Guidance document for the implementation of an occupational safety and health training programme for working women
Guide d'orientation pour la mise en place d'un programme de formation en sécurité et santé au travail des femmes travailleuses [in French]
This guidance document for the implementation of an occupational safety and health training programme for women working in the agricultural sector in Sahel and West-African countries is aimed at trainers. Contents: focal themes; implementation; programme and educational exercises; self-appraisal guide.
Bureau Sous-régional de l'OIT pour le Sahel, rue Amadou Assan Ndoye, Dakar, Sénégal, Dec. 2010, 26p.
Heaton K., Azuero A., Reed D.
Obstructive sleep apnea indicators and injury in older farmers
This study explored the relationship between sleep apnea indicators and injury in 756 older farmers from Kentucky and South Carolina. The primary outcome variable was the occurrence of injuries related to farm work in the past year. Main explanatory variables of interest included snoring, gasping, snorting, or cessation of breathing while asleep; trouble sleeping; consumption of sleep medications; trouble staying awake during daytime; sleep quality. Simple logistic regressions established bivariate associations between explanatory and outcome variables. The results show that just over 10% of participants experienced a farm injury in the past year. Significant bivariate associations were detected between the occurrence of injuries and number of days of farm work (odds ratio - OR 1.003), number of hours of farm work during the previous week (OR 1.017), male gender (OR 2.48), arthritis or rheumatism conditions (OR 1.981), stopped breathing while sleeping (OR 2.338) and problems staying awake during the previous month (OR 2.561). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2010, Vol.15, No.2, p.148-156. 37 ref.
Narasimhan G.R., Peng Y., Crowe T.G., Hagel L., Dosman J., Pickett W.
Operational safety practices as determinants of machinery-related injury on Saskatchewan farms
This study examined two safety practices related to agricultural machinery as risk factors for injury in the farming sector: the presence of safety devices on machinery and levels of routine machinery maintenance. The data source was the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Survey of 2390 farms. Factor analysis was used to create measures of the two operational safety practices. Limited presence of safety devices on machinery during farm operations was associated with higher risks for injury (RR 1.94), while lower routine maintenance scores were associated with significantly reduced risks for injury (RR 0.54). The first finding implies that injury prevention programs require continued focus on the use of safety devices on machinery. The second finding could indicate that maintenance itself is a risk factor or that more modern equipment requiring less maintenance places the operator at a lower risk.
Accident Analysis and Prevention, July 2010, Vol.42, No.4, p.1226-1231. 32 ref.
Code of practice on preventing accidents to children and young persons in agriculture
Because farms are homes as well as workplaces, there are frequently children and young persons in this high-risk environment, either in the family or as visitors. This means children and young persons are at risk of death or injury on farms. This Code of Practice applies only to on-farm work activities and their potential impact on children and young persons. Contents: introduction; definition of a young person; scope of the code of practice; safety statements and risk assessments; play areas for children not involved in work activities; operating tractors; operating machinery; riding on tractors and machinery; contact with machinery and moving vehicles; downing and asphyxiation; falls from heights; falling objects; contact with animals; hazardous substances; fire; conclusion. Appendices include extracts from and comments on key legislation.
Health and Safety Authority, The Metropolitan Building, James Joyce Street, Dublin 1, Ireland, 2010. 30p. Illus.
HSA0347.pdf [in English]
Rimac D., Macan J., Varnai V.M., Vučemilo M., Matković K., Prester L., Orct T., Trošić I., Pavičić I.
Exposure to poultry dust and health effects in poultry workers: Impact of mould and mite allergens
The aim of this study was to evaluate exposure to moulds and house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in poultry farms, and related health effects in poultry workers. The study involved 41 poultry workers and 45 unexposed office workers as controls. The working environment was evaluated for D. pteronyssinus allergen, moulds and endotoxin. Among the workers, eye, skin and respiratory symptoms, ventilatory lung function, atopy markers (skin prick test to inhalatory allergens, total IgE) and specific IgG to moulds were assessed. The poultry houses contained hazardous levels of D. pteronyssinus allergen, endotoxin and moulds, and a high prevalence of work-related symptoms and IgG antibodies to moulds was found among poultry workers. Healthy worker effect is proposed as an explanation of the low prevalence of atopy markers among poultry workers.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.83, No.1, p.9-19. Illus. 43 ref.
Exposure_to_poultry_dust.pdf [in English]
Development of ergonomic measures for agricultural work
Nōgyō-rōdō e no ningen-kōgaku-teki taisaku no tenkai [in Japanese]
A larger role is proposed for labour science and ergonomics in agriculture, because of the essential nature of this industry and its likely increased importance in a world where food crises develop more frequently. In particular, the muscle burden on farmers should be decreased, as many of them (especially in Japan) are elderly and there are relatively few younger workers entering the field. Two case studies are outlined in fruit growing.
Journal of Science of Labour - Rōdō Kagaku, 2010, Vol.86, No.2, p.113-124. Illus. 26 ref.
Thomas G.A., Delaney L., Mueller C., Page E.
Evaluation of coumaphos exposure among tick eradication workers
The objective of this study was to evaluate both the cholinesterase monitoring programme and newer field methods of determining coumaphos exposure among tick eradication workers. Methods used consisted of measuring blood cholinesterase, evaluating field testing methods, testing urine for chlorferon pre- and post-shift, personal air sampling, patch sampling of clothing and wipe sampling of hands for coumaphos. Fifteen workers had normal plasma cholinesterase and acetyl cholinesterase levels. No significant changes occurred pre- to post-shift. High correlation was found between plasma cholinesterase and acetyl cholinesterase levels. Chlorferon levels rose 4 to 6 hours after use. Airborne coumaphos was detected in only one sample, in a trace amount. The majority of patch and hand wipe samples detected coumaphos. It is concluded that dermal exposure to coumaphos results in significant increases in urinary metabolites of coumaphos.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2010, Vol.52, No.2, p.131-136. 11 ref.
Caron V., Cosset Y.
Q fever in occupational settings: Where do we stand?
Fièvre Q et milieu professionnel - Où en est-on? [in French]
While Q fever may be serious for certain populations and may concern many workers in contact with animals (mainly bovines, goats and sheep) and their environment, it remains largely unknown and is rarely mentioned by physicians. Animal farmers, veterinarians, inseminators, and slaughterhouse and meat quartering workers are among the most exposed. An epidemic having occurred in a slaughterhouse in the French Department of Maine-et-Loire in February 2009 provides an opportunity for a brief overview of the situation of Q fever in France from the standpoints of epidemiology, risks in occupational settings and preventive measures.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2010, No.123, p.349-353. Illus. 9 ref.
TP_10.pdf [in French]
Milosavljevic S., Bergman F., Rehn B., Carman A.B.
All-terrain use in agriculture: Exposure to whole body vibration and mechanical shock
Whole body vibration (WBV) and mechanical shock were measured in 12 New Zealand farmers during their daily use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). As per the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for WBV exposure, frequencies between 0 and 100Hz were recorded via a seat-pad tri-axial accelerometer during 20min of ATV use. The farmers were also surveyed to estimate seasonal variation in daily ATV usage as well as 7-day and 12-month prevalence of spinal pain. Frequency-weighted vibration exposure and total riding time were calculated to determine the daily vibration dose value. Findings are discussed. The results demonstrate high levels of vibration exposure among New Zealand farmers. Practical recommendations to reduce their exposure to WBV are proposed.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.530-535. Illus. 30 ref.
ASHCA/NIOSH Conference - Be safe, be profitable: Protecting workers in agriculture
This full issue includes the papers presented at a conference on protecting workers in agriculture, held on January 27-28 2010 in Dallas-Fort Worth, USA. Contents: global view of issues affecting United States production agriculture; perspectives of hired workers; overview of safety and health in the United States; preventing heat-related illness; respiratory issues; minimizing worker injuries in livestock handling; overcoming language barriers; safe tractor operations; aging agricultural workers; safety performance metrics; minimizing exposures to pesticides; pre-harvest food safety; musculoskeletal disorders; preventing injuries to reduce cost; zoonotic influenza and its implications for agricultural workers.
Journal of Agromedicine, 3rd quarter 2010, Vol.15, No.3, p.17-329 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
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