What We Do
SCAHIP addresses the important concern of health and safety among workers in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors in Southeastern United States. We provide actionable safety information targeted to small farms, logging companies, and fisheries by:
- Conducting occupational safety research
- Implementing education and outreach programs
- Developing safety-focused model programs
- Creating linkages with both governmental and non-governmental public health organizations
Our activities include a mix of projects that seek to improve awareness of hazards related to agriculture and forestry, along with important interventions, such as training on slips, trips and falls for forestry workers, increasing the availability of ROPS for older tractors, and improving quality of life among farmers by addressing health and safety issues on their farms. Advancements in technology and the increased availability of internet access in rural communities gives our target population access to an increasing number of resources.
Why it’s Important
The agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors (AgFF) are especially segmented industries. Nine out of 10 farms, for instance, are run by the operator and their spouse while 80% of logging firms have less than ten employees. Fishing operations are also predominantly small-scale with 92% employing less than five people. The diminutive size of these individual enterprises poses a significant risk when it comes to workplace safety due to isolation and, thus, less exposure to industry best practices. What’s more, disseminating safety practices to these industries is especially difficult, particularly since identifying individuals in need of such information can be problematic.
The Southeastern US has some of the highest proportions of the population living in poverty. Poverty is related to a number of problems and barriers, including limited access to technology, limited access to best practice information, and limited access to health care, to name several. These barriers are magnified in rural communities, which are typically resource-limited and may be geographically and technologically isolated.
Education and Outreach
Outreach is at the core of SCAHIP's focus. By disseminating research-proven safety and health information in the agriculture/forestry/fishing (AgFF) industry effectively, we provide safety information to many small-scale enterprises that may never be exposed to such life-saving practices. That’s why we’ve developed a multi-pronged approach to our outreach program. The more strategies we use to distribute these vital safety practices, the more likely it is they’ll be seen by formerly isolated companies. This “social marketing” strategy, which aims to achieve social goals through commercial marketing practices, is as follows:
- Develop AND enhance a direct outreach network with multiple communication strategies. We utilize traditional informative mediums (i.e. weekly newspapers, radio, trade publications) to spread industry safety practices as well as social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Develop AND manage the SCAHIP Outreach Partner Network – By partnering with trade groups, professional associations, and businesses as well as organizations like the Cooperative Extension Service, we not only increase our overall audience, but we also distribute valuable health information to individuals through a trusted source, enhancing its overall effectiveness.
- Support the National Ag Safety Database – Our efforts contribute to the development and improvement of the National Ag Safety Database (NASD), an online repository for safety practices that provide extensive resources, sophisticated performance data, and interactive online training courses, all delivered in a user-friendly environment.
- Mini-Grant Outreach Program – A SCAHIP sponsored miniature grant program allows our organization to not only encourage the dissemination of evidence-based best practices but also increases the scope of our safety information influence as well.