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Assessment of Iowa Farmers’ Perceptions about Auger Safety

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 9(1): 61-74 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.12350) @2003
Authors:   S. A. Freeman, C. V. Schwab, T. Pollard
Keywords:   Guards, Machinery, Questionnaires

A survey of Iowa farmers was conducted to assess the farmers perceptions and beliefs regarding auger safety and how these perceptions are put into practice. A questionnaire was designed to obtain information on the following augerrelated topics: recognition of safe practices and appropriate shielding, personal practices and behaviors, risk perception, and personal beliefs. A random sample of 400 Iowa farmers (arrayed by county) was selected to be representative of Iowa farms. The response to the mailed survey was 23%. Some returned surveys were eliminated because the respondent was retired or did not own/operate augers, resulting in 57 usable questionnaires.

Survey responses indicate that the majority of Iowa farmers who participated in this study can correctly identify appropriate shielding for auger intakes that meet or exceed ASAE standards. Survey responses suggest that it is common practice in Iowa for youth (age 13 to 19) to operate augers. Iowa farmers in this study perceive the most important contributing factors to augerrelated injuries to be operating an auger without shielding, failure to pay attention on the job, moving augers in a raised position, and using hand or feet to redirect the flow of grain. Survey results also indicate that carelessness is perceived to be the leading cause of augerrelated injuries, and that auger related injuries can be avoided by having respect for the equipment, being careful, and using common sense. The results also show that the Iowa farmers who participated in this study commonly perform augerrelated practices (e.g., moving an auger in a raised position) that they identify as being unsafe.

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