Special Issue "Farm Safety"

A special issue of Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. John McNamara
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Senior Specialist OHS, Advisor- Teagasc- Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Carlow, Ireland
2. Adjunct Associate Professor in OSH in Agriculture, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Interests: OHS culture development; extension approaches to gain OHS adoption; total health and sustainability models in agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of Safety, focused on Farm Health and Safety.

A vast population worldwide works and live on farms, where a vast and variable array of technologies are used. This scenario highlights the challenge to enhance occupational health and safety on a continuing basis. At a farm level, this challenge  involves enhancing both the  technical aspects of farming  and human behavioural factors related to occupational health and safety. However, improving farm safety has been described as a ‘wicked’ problem because it resists solution due to its multifactorial and complex nature. Social ecological models applied to agricultural occupational health and safety emphasize multiple levels of influence (such as individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and public policy) and the concept that behaviours both shape and are shaped by the social environment. The “total health” model indicates a reciprocal relationship between health—including mental health—and farm injury prevention. Sustainability models indicate a dependance of farm sustainability on farmers’ health and safety. Thus, solutions to the occupational health and safety challenge in agriculture can be sought at many levels. 

This Special Issue offers researchers and practitioners the opportunity to present the latest advancements in the development of interventions or novel approaches for the evaluation or the enhancement of agricultural health safety.

Topics of interest include the following:

  • Approaches to survelliance related to agricultural occupational health and safety (OHS) .
  • Legislative and policy approaches to improve agricultural OHS
  • Interventions aimed at improving agricultural OHS including:
    • Farm infrastructures design
    • Design and interface of vehicles
    • Livestock facilities design and behaviours
    • Enhancement of behaviour towards safety
  • Application of Total Health and Sustainability models to agricultural OHS.

Dr. John McNamara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Safety is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Investigating the Dietary Habits of Male Irish Farmers to Prevent Mortality and Morbidity
Safety 2021, 7(3), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7030054 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1537
Abstract
Excess mortality and morbidity among Irish farmers from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been linked to a range of occupational risk factors. Obesity is a key risk factor underpinning this excess burden and unhealthy eating habits are linked to overweight/obesity and to disease occurrence. [...] Read more.
Excess mortality and morbidity among Irish farmers from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been linked to a range of occupational risk factors. Obesity is a key risk factor underpinning this excess burden and unhealthy eating habits are linked to overweight/obesity and to disease occurrence. This study investigated the dietary habits of a sub-group of Irish male farmers and explored how these might potentially impact on health outcomes. Cross-sectional survey research was undertaken using self-reported quantitative data, based on convenience sampling and a 24-h food re-call survey. Data were analysed using frequency and chi-square analysis. Where possible, findings were compared to national survey data for Irish males. Findings revealed that a high proportion of farmers were overweight or obese and that dietary habits consisted of low intake of fruit, vegetables, and dairy and a high intake of meat, fried and processed foods, salt, and sugary and/or salty snacks. Younger farmers reported a significantly higher intake of processed meats; however, no associations were found between age, lifestyle behaviours, and dietary habits. The findings provide a greater understanding of how dietary habits potentially contribute to poorer health outcomes among farmers and underline the need for health promotion interventions, including healthy eating campaigns, aimed at farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
Article
Farm Suicides in Wisconsin, 2017–2018: Preliminary Findings and a Call for Future Research
Safety 2021, 7(3), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7030051 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Studies across the last few decades have consistently found farmers and farmworkers at an elevated risk of death by suicide compared to other occupational groups in the United States. Still, there is currently no comprehensive national surveillance system for agricultural-related injuries or suicides. [...] Read more.
Studies across the last few decades have consistently found farmers and farmworkers at an elevated risk of death by suicide compared to other occupational groups in the United States. Still, there is currently no comprehensive national surveillance system for agricultural-related injuries or suicides. For this study, we analyzed Wisconsin death certificate data from 2017 and 2018 to identify the burden of suicide among farmers and farmworkers. In 2017 and 2018, 44 farm-related suicides were identified, or 14.3 per 100,000 farmers and farmworkers. The median age of victims was 51.5 ± 20, and six (13.6%) were female. As these suicide cases were cross-checked, we found that none were identifiable solely from previously published news media or obituaries, indicating: (1) a clear need for a multi-sourced suicide data approach and inter-agency collaborations for future research, and (2) the need for a deeper investigation into the reporting of farm-related suicides. These data are necessary for informing state and local level policy, resource prioritization, and the evaluation of intervention efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
Communication
Stakeholders’ Consumption of Agricultural Injury Reports from News Media: A Six-Year Analysis of Website Usage and Visitor Analytics
Safety 2021, 7(2), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7020048 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1603
Abstract
AgInjuryNews.org is a news report-based, online sentinel surveillance dataset that has provided publicly available news and media reports of agricultural injuries since early 2015. In the 6 years since its inception, AgInjuryNews.org has hosted 12,897 unique visitors and has collected 997 user account [...] Read more.
AgInjuryNews.org is a news report-based, online sentinel surveillance dataset that has provided publicly available news and media reports of agricultural injuries since early 2015. In the 6 years since its inception, AgInjuryNews.org has hosted 12,897 unique visitors and has collected 997 user account registrations. New users from geographic areas home to NIOSH-funded agricultural research centres were most prominent, with these centres returning in larger numbers, comparatively. Users were acquired mostly through web searches, collaborations with other agencies, and paid Facebook.com advertisements. Paid advertisements recruited 3792 visitors; however, retention, registrations, and on-site engagement from this source was low. This analysis shows that data consumption on AgInjuryNews.org is steadily growing. Similar self-hosted programs that provide data or digital resources to agricultural safety and health stakeholders should consider the integration of auditing and analytics tracking, including user registrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
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Article
Evaluation of Self-Reported Agricultural Tasks, Safety Concerns, and Health and Safety Behaviors of Young Adults in U.S. Collegiate Agricultural Programs
Safety 2021, 7(2), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7020044 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1723
Abstract
Young adults enrolled in collegiate agricultural programs are a critical audience for agricultural health and safety training. Understanding the farm tasks that young adults engage in is necessary for tailoring health and safety education. The project analyzed evaluation survey responses from the Gear [...] Read more.
Young adults enrolled in collegiate agricultural programs are a critical audience for agricultural health and safety training. Understanding the farm tasks that young adults engage in is necessary for tailoring health and safety education. The project analyzed evaluation survey responses from the Gear Up for Ag Health and Safety™ program, including reported agricultural tasks, safety concerns, frequency of discussing health and safety concerns with healthcare providers, safety behaviors, and future career plans. The most common tasks reported included operation of machinery and grain-handling. Most participants intended to work on a family-owned agricultural operation or for an agribusiness/cooperative following graduation. Reported safety behaviors (hearing protection, eye protection, and sunscreen use when performing outdoor tasks) differed by gender and education type. Male community college and university participants reported higher rates of “near-misses” and crashes when operating equipment on the roadway. One-third of participants reported discussing agricultural health and safety issues with their medical provider, while 72% were concerned about the health and safety of their family and co-workers in agriculture. These findings provide guidance for better development of agricultural health and safety programs addressing this population—future trainings should be uniquely tailored, accounting for gender and educational differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
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Article
Traversing Community Attitudes and Interaction Experiences with Large Agricultural Vehicles on Rural Roads
Safety 2021, 7(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7010004 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 2862
Abstract
Agriculture is one of Australia’s largest rural industries. Oversized and slow moving industry equipment and vehicles, hereafter referred to as large agricultural vehicles (LAVs), use public roads. Restrictions exist regarding their on-road operation, but whether this is a function of the risk that [...] Read more.
Agriculture is one of Australia’s largest rural industries. Oversized and slow moving industry equipment and vehicles, hereafter referred to as large agricultural vehicles (LAVs), use public roads. Restrictions exist regarding their on-road operation, but whether this is a function of the risk that their on-road use represents is unknown. A convenience sample of community members was used to explore perspectives about LAVs’ presence on roads. An online survey was used to explore LAV interaction experiences, risk perceptions, and how best to promote safe interactions. Ethics approval was obtained. The participants’ (N = 239) exposure to LAVs on roads in the last 12 months was variable, but there were clear seasonal points when encounters could be expected. The participants indicated that LAVs have a right to drive on the road (94.8%), and most interactions were neutral, with four LAV crashes reported. Other vehicle types were perceived as representing a higher risk to rural road safety than LAVs. The use of the driver’s license test to increase knowledge about LAVs’ presence, how to respond, and the use of signs were suggested in order to improve safety. The participants commonly interacted with LAVs, and rarely experienced negative events such as crashes. Continued communication about LAV presence on rural roads is an important consideration in order to help ensure safe interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Safety)
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