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Effects of selected predictors on Utah Farm Owner/Operators' agricultural confined space hazard perceptions

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

Citation:  Paper number  131570935,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Michael L Pate, Xin Dai
Keywords:   Confined spaces farm owner/operators safety injury risks education

Abstract. The purpose of this study was to assess how selected variables would affect the confined space hazard perceptions of the farmers in Utah. There were 303 farm owner/operators in the sample. The State of Utah was grouped into five regions in this study, namely Central, East, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest. A total of 328 farmers responded to the survey. Grain and dairy production comprised 48.7% of the operations responding to the survey. General Linear Modeling procedures in SAS 9.3® was used to select the models on hazard perception scores for the five studied regions. Interested predictors included response type, production type, safety planning, and injury concerns. Animal production operations had the highest average number of confined spaces (μ = 4, SD = 2.708). Regionally, the northwest region had the highest average number of confined spaces (μ = 4, SD = 2.531). The variables contributing mostly to confined space hazard perceptions were injury and death concern while working alone in confined spaces. Three factors were generated using principle factor analysis (PFA) and pattern revealed by orthogonal varimax rotation. Results suggested factors affect hazard perceptions differently by regions. We concluded that outreach and educational efforts to change safety behaviors regarding confined space hazards should be strategically targeted for each region based on predicting factors. The result could assist agricultural safety and health professionals in targeting agricultural producers social networks to address human factors such as worker’s attitude and/or lack of skill or knowledge that effect hazard perceptions of confined spaces in agriculture.

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