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Development of a Checklist to Identify Injury Hazards on Row Crop Farms in the Midwestern United States

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 29(1): 15-32. (doi: 10.13031/jash.15269) @2023
Authors:   Kayla Faust, Carri Casteel, Fredric Gerr, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, D. Erik Boonstra, T. Renee Anthony, Victor A. Soupene, Marizen Ramirez
Keywords:   Agriculture, Audit, Checklist, Hazards, Injury.


Sustainable tools for surveillance of farm injuries and injury-related hazards in the U.S. are needed.

A new tool for the surveillance of injury hazards on row crop farms has excellent inter-rater reliability.

The new tool is simple and straightforward to complete and requires minimal training.

Abstract. Agriculture is among the most dangerous industries in the U.S., yet routine surveillance of injury hazards is not currently being conducted on a national level. The objectives of this study were to (1) describe a new tool, called the Hazard Assessment Checklist (HAC), to identify and characterize farm hazards that increase injury risk to farmers and farm workers; and (2) report the inter-rater reliability of the new tool when administered on row-crop farms in Iowa. Based on a literature review and a consensus of expert opinion, the HAC included hazards related to self-propelled vehicles, powered portable implements, fixed machinery and equipment, farm buildings and structures, fall risks, and portable equipment associated with fall risks. A scoring metric indicating the extent of compliance with recommended safety guidelines and standards was developed for each item of the HAC, which included compliant, minimal improvement needed, substantial improvement needed, and not compliant. Inter-rater reliability was assessed from data collected by research staff on 52 row crop farms in Iowa. Cohen‘s weighted Kappa values demonstrated high inter-rater reliability, ranging between 0.86 and 0.94 for all HAC sections. The HAC can be completed in 1.5 to 2 hours on each farm and requires about three hours of training, two of which are spent in the field training. The ability to monitor injury-related hazards over time using an empirically driven tool will contribute significantly to injury prevention efforts in an industry with consistently high rates of fatal and nonfatal injuries.

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