Developing Educational Tools to Prevent Injuries Among Spanish-Speaking Hispanic Workers during Harvesting and Ensiling

This project continues the research funded by a PPRT in 2016-2017 allowing us to report impactful outcomes. Plant silages, such as corn or alfalfa silages, are a type of feed typically fed to cattle in almost every dairy and beef farm. In the US, approximately 119 to 128 million tons of corn silage are produced every year. Plant silages are stored in different types of silos. Pile and bunker silos are prepared spreading and packing tightly layers of plant material. A well-packed silo results in densities ranging from 700 to 750 kg/m3. Managing pile and bunkers silo has a high risk of injury or fatality occurrence, as a heavy (> 1500 kg) avalanche of plant material can trap an employee almost instantly while working in the silo area. This education project aims to: 1) increase the awareness among farm managers and workers about the occupational safety risks associated with pile and bunker silo management, 2) develop an educational bulletin about occupational safety for workers in farms feeding silages, and 3) develop an educational video about occupational safety for workers in farms feeding silages. The educational bulletin will be written in English and Spanish. The educational video will be narrated in Spanish and subtitled in English. Both educational materials will be disseminated through the Virginia Cooperative Extension publication service. We anticipate outreaching more than 600 by 12 months after conclusion of the project. This number will increase with time.

OUTCOMES: video publication available in both English and Spanish: Preventing injuries and fatalities during the harvesting and chapping of crops for silage. August 28 2018.

PI: Gonzolo Ferreira, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

English version:

Spanish version: