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Review of Safety Strategies According to the Safety Hierarchy
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2007 ASAE Annual Meeting 075108.
Authors: Danny D Mann
Keywords: Agricultural safety, safety hierarchy, safety strategies
Numerous strategies to promote agricultural safety with respect to tractors and agricultural machines have been tried and evaluated. Review of these strategies confirms that all levels of the safety hierarchy have been used. According to the safety hierarchy, the first priority should be to eliminate the hazard if possible. If this is not possible, the hazard should be guarded, appropriate warnings placed near the hazard, the user educated about the hazard (and how to avoid being injured), or personal protective equipment prescribed. There are papers describing attempts to eliminate hazards through re-design. Guarding is a common topic in the literature, although many of the guarding strategies provide only instructions of how a hazard should be guarded. There are not many strategies that have focused on the use of warnings, although there is sufficient knowledge of how to design effective warning labels. Numerous strategies include an education component. Safety courses have typically had only minimal impact because participation was not mandatory. Education can also be targeted directly towards the farmer through "best management practices" documents. It has been found that farmers are most responsive to this type of educational material if they are allowed to identify the hazards themselves. The use of personal protective equipment on farms is not widespread. The objective of this paper is to review strategies that have been used to determine where they fit within the safety hierarchy. The strengths and weaknesses of the strategies will be identified. It is anticipated that consideration of these strategies from the perspective of the safety hierarchy may help to predict the effectiveness of future safety strategies.