Developing educational tools to prevent silage-related injuries and fatalities among Spanish-speaking Hispanic farm workers
Plant silages, such as corn or alfalfa, 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 tight layers of plant material. A well-packed silo results in densities ranging from 700 to 750 kg/m3. Managing pile and bunker silos 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 educational 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 outreach to more than 600 by 12 months after conclusion of the project with increasing numbers over time.