Impact & Significance
The Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention’s mission is to address the nation’s pressing agricultural, forestry and fishing health and safety problems. Below is a list of recent impacts the Center has made in its region:
Timber-Safe – Reduction of West Virginia Logging Hazards (M. Fullen, PI)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) special emphasis programs and rigorous federal regulations have had no significant impact on the reduction of serious injuries and deaths to loggers. In response, the Reduction of West Virginia Logging Hazards project implements a logging safety management program that will enhance safety and health management systems in logging and improve the data collection and monitoring capabilities of logging companies, which will help increase the safety of their operations and reduce injuries. The development of a mobile application affords access to new technology and auditing content to small companies that otherwise could not afford the cost of an enterprise-level safety auditing system. The data sharing concept differentiates itself from other private-sector safety auditing solution companies in that the data collected will be securely shared publicly with the goal of reducing known hazards associated with common logging injuries and fatalities whereas private audit tool companies limit access to the collected data to customers.
To date, 47 logging companies were recruited into the Timber-Safe with 31 remaining in the program. 15 companies implemented interventions, and 16 served as control. Ongoing analysis of research underway shows to date, both groups have shown an improvement in control of hazards on the logging sites. Acceptability interviews, as well as marketing materials and campaigns, have been developed to advance diffusion. The research team has received interest from several statewide logger’s councils, a national timber, land, and forest products company and a national organization representing the interests of nearly 300 organizations and businesses in the forest products industry including loggers, mills, equipment manufacturers, local forestry associations to large corporations.
Lundstrom, E. W., Myers, D. J., Lundstrom, W. J., Rauscher, K. J., & Fullen, M. (2021). A comparison of owner/operator and worker perspectives on workplace safety in the West Virginia logging industry. American journal of industrial medicine, 64(4), 301-309.
Innovative CROPS Curriculum Intervention (ICCI)- Preventing Injury & Fatality from Tractor Overturns (S. Vincent, PI)
The ICCI project is a comprehensive curriculum designed for use in high school Agricultural Education classes that seeks to educate students about safe farming and to reduce the number of tractor related injuries and fatalities in farm communities in the southeast, targeting high poverty areas in the Appalachian and Delta regions. The primary strategies to prevent farm injury and fatality are (1) the reduction of exposure to hazards (unprotected tractors without ROPS) through Cost-effective Roll Over Protective Structure (CROPS) installations, (2) changes in behavioral intention to engage in safe farm practices for youth aged 15-20 using the CROPS Agricultural Education Curriculum, and (3) long term school-community partnerships that sustain a culture of farming safety and ongoing CROPS installations. The Innovative CROPS Curriculum Intervention (ICCI) project is implementing and validating the effectiveness of an innovative, comprehensive tractor safety curriculum in agricultural power mechanics classes in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. During 2020-2021, the Innovative CROPS Curriculum Intervention (ICCI) was implemented in our 9th cohort of partnering high schools in the Southeast Region. Our interviews with farmers who receive the CROPS indicate to us that on average 4 other farm workers use that tractor on their operations increasing the reduction of these workers’ exposure to the hazard of an unprotected older model tractor.
- Distinguished Agricultural Teacher Educator Award, American Association for Agricultural Education Southern Region Research Conference, 2021
- Outstanding Innovative Idea Poster, American Association for Agricultural Education Southern Region Research Conference, 2021 – For work on the CROPS project
Namkoong, K., Chen,J.,Leach, J., Song, Y., Vincent, S.K ,Byrd, A.P., Mazur. J. Virtual reality for public health: A study on a VR intervention to enhance occupational injury prevention. Accepted for publication. Journal of Public Health.
Preston-Byrd, A., Vincent, S. K., Mazur, J., & Namkoong, K. (2020). A multi-state evaluation of secondary agricultural education students’ performance on industry-based standards. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 238-248. https:/doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02238 Alternative Journal Quality Indicators: h5-index: 18 Premier Journal of Agricultural Education
Revise and Resubmit
Namkoong, K., Chen, J., Leach, J., Yongwook, S., Vincent, S. K., Mazur, J., & Byrd, A. P. Virtual reality for public health: A feasibility study on a VR intervention to enhance agricultural injury prevention. American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Julian, H. A.,* Hickman, C. M.,* & Vincent, S. K. (2021). Presence of Youth-Adult Partnership in Agricultural Science Education: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study. Submitted to the 2021 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Annual Research Conference (Virtual).
Hickman, C. M.,* Julian, H. A.,* & Vincent, S. K. (2021). Presence of the Theory of Planned Behavior in Agricultural Science Education: A Longitudinal Quantitative Study. Submitted to the 2021 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Annual Research Conference (Virtual).
Wasden, B., Vincent, S. K. (2020). Behavioral achievements among farm and nonfarm students: Implications from a tractor safety intervention. Presented at the 2020 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Annual Research Conference, Asheville, North Carolina.
Namkoong, K., Chen, J., Leach, J., Vincent, S. K., Song, Y., & Wasden, B., (2020). Virtual Reality Intervention for Safety Education: Unveiling the immersive media effects on agricultural injury prevention behaviors. Paper accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division), San Francisco, CA.
Farmer Stress and Mental Health (J. Mazur, PI)
The Agricultural Community QPR for Farmers and Farm Families program was launched in Summer 2020 with funding from the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (SCAHIP), the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) and Agrisafe, as part of the South-Farm & Ranch Stress Assistance Network (S-FRSAN) program from USDA. The goal of the Agricultural Community QPR for Farmers and Farm Families program is to increase agricultural community members knowledge of suicide, ability to identify people in distress, as well as confidence and comfort to intervene and provide referrals. The training continues to be funded by the General Fund appropriation in fiscal years 2020-2021 to support the Kentucky Rural Mental Health and Suicide Prevention pilot program thanks in great part to the legislative efforts of Kentucky state Representative Brandon Reed (see link to KY legislative support). Over 1000 individuals have been trained by 57 Agricultural Community QPR gatekeeper Trainers, as of January 2022. These 57 trainers were funded by the Southeast Center, an S-FRSAN subaward from Agrisafe and the Kentucky Legislature. Research from our first cohort of participants indicated that the training doubled their willingness to intervene with an individual with thoughts of suicide. This program has been adopted by Agrisafe and has been delivered nationally to over 400 health care providers.
During 2019-2021, the Center engaged in an analysis of the National Violent Death Surveillance Data for rates of suicide among farmers by region of the country and link these data to the 2017 and 2012 Agricultural Census data by farm size, crop data, location and other agricultural factors to provide a needs assessment of the risk of suicide for farmers and farm families .
In addition to delivering Agricultural Community QPR for Farmers and Farm Families program, SCAHIP has provided ASIST suicide intervention training to 15 ag community members and is researching agricultural community member comfort in acting as a suicide prevention/intervention gatekeeper. With Kentucky legislative and FRSAN funding, it is developing an evidenced-based peer-to-peer mobile application prototype to assist farmers in cultivating tools to address stress and emotional well-being. It is also launching the FarmHand Program in cooperation with McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service and Eastern Kentucky University’s Psychology Clinic which seeks to pilot and research the use of Extension as a site for telehealth services and mental health resources.
Mazur, J.M., Oldham, C., Witt, C., Guffey, K., Link, K., Jones, S.M, & Malin, C. (2021) Developing and Implementing a Pilot Agricultural Community Suicide Prevention Program for Farmers and Farm Families. Oral presentation at the International Society for Agricultural Health and Safety (ISASH) Conference, June 21-24, 2021, Virtual Conference.
Oldham, C. (2021). Agricultural Community Willingness to Intervene: Farmer Suicide Prevention- Preliminary Findings. Oral presentation at the International Society for Agricultural Health and Safety (ISASH) Conference, June 21-24, 2021, Virtual Conference
Oldham, C. (2021). Agricultural Community Willingness to Intervene: Farmer Suicide Prevention- Preliminary Findings. Oral presentation at the Regional Education Research Symposium, March 12.
Publication under Review
Oldham, C., Mazur, J.M. (2022). Evaluation an Agricultural Community Suicide Prevention Program: Instrumentation and Impact. Submitted to Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health.
Oldham, C. (2022). The culture of agriculture [MOOC lecture]. In T. Haskins & S Dautrieve (Eds.,) FarmResponse. AgriSafe Network. https://www.agrisafe.org/farm-response/
Addressing the Impact of COVID
In cooperation with evaluation team from the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety invited Center Evaluators and Outreach Directors from Agricultural Safety and Health Centers across the nation, the Center worked to assess the impact of COVID-19 upon its region’s stakeholders. In January 2021, the group reconvened to engage in additional work around vaccine perceptions and educational preferences of agricultural workers. SCAHIP team members conducted listening sessions, termed “sondeos” to collect feedback from agricultural stakeholders in the region. The SCAHIP team conducted 5 of these sessions, and members of the team continued this work by reaching out to those who work with Black farmers, farmers who are connected with H2A workers, and professionals who work in health departments in rural areas. In late August, 2021, Dr. Sampson presented the findings as part of a collaborative webinar with members at other Centers engaged in this work.
Assisting farms with PPE shortages for both COVID-19 and compliance with EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS). During FY ’21, the Institute has distributed more than $504,476 of PPE (N95s, face covers, face shields, gloves, Tyvek and protective eyewear) at no cost to farms across the state. COVID-19 PPE was made possible through a $50,000 grant from Phillip Morris International, private donations, provision of supplies by NC Emergency Management and NC DHHS. $21,343 in cost share funds for WPS PPE was made available to growers through NCDA&CS – Pesticide Environmental Trust Fund.
Injury Prevention in Distilleries
The bourbon industry is a growing industry in Kentucky, employing 20,100 people (Kentucky Distillers’ Association, 2020). Bourbon production is an industry with health and safety concerns for workers and employers, such as carbon dioxide hazards, flammable, and combustible liquids, fall protection, confined spaces, and hot liquid handling. Little data related to specifics of health and safety issues in the distillation industry are available. The Center has engaged in distillery safety needs assessment and in response created trainings to address those needs. It is also working in cooperation with the Beam Institute to advance distillery injury prevention.