This application is a translation research initiative to be conducted by the Park Nicollet Institute, the University of Minnesota, Federated Insurance and the metal-fabrication industry. In-kind and matching support from Federated Insurance will be used to leverage NIOSH funding. We will revise, disseminate, and evaluate wide-scale implementation of the Minnesota Machine Guarding Program, a NIOSH-sponsored R01 intervention. This intervention showed a significant improvement of machine-guarding practices and related safety programs such as lockout/tagout. According to the United States Small Business Association there are an estimated 3.1 million workers in the metal fabrication trades. These workers are at substantial risk of hand injuries including amputations. After accounting for under reporting, the incidence of amputations is estimated at between 11.8 and 19.5 per 100,000 workers. However, the rate in metal fabrication may be as high as 41/100,000 workers. Data from our ongoing work indicate a serious problem with inadequate machine guarding and related safety programs. This indicates the potentially preventable nature of these injuries.
The specific aims of this research are to: (1) Revise and expand the Minnesota Machine Guarding Program for dissemination via a community partner. (2) Implement a randomized, controlled study to evaluate effectiveness of a machine guarding intervention with a community partner.(3) Measure the outcome of a randomized, controlled intervention on machine guarding by (a) evaluating a change in the incidence and cost of machine-related injuries;and (b) evaluating improvements in machine guarding and related safety programs. (4) Evaluate factors that will lead to a sustained adoption of this intervention by other sources (e.g., other insurance companies and business associations). Primary study outcomes will include changes in four measures: (1) the cost and rate of injuries;(2) a machine safety score;(3) a business safety audit score;and (4) survey data changes utilizing Social Cognitive Theory. We will evaluate intervention businesses at baseline (t1) and after 12 months (t2). We will utilize a simple randomized trial with two groups: early intervention and delayed intervention. Social Cognitive Theory will serve as our behavioral model for intervention development and design. Public health importance: This study has the potential to provide a model to bring sustainable intervention programs to small manufacturing businesses. Workers in the metal fabrication trades are known to be at high risk of injury.

Public Health Relevance

Workers in the metal fabrication trades are known to be at high risk of serious injury. The proposed research program reaches a poorly served segment of the worker community, those in small business enterprises. To our knowledge, this is the first national intervention in small manufacturing facilities. Thus, this study has the potential to provide a new model to bring sustainable intervention programs to small manufacturing businesses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project (R01)
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Safety and Occupational Health Study Section (SOH)
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Frederick, Linda J
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Park Nicollet Institute
United States
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Samant, Yogindra; Parker, David; Wergeland, Ebba et al. (2012) Work-related upper-extremity amputations in Norway. Am J Ind Med 55:241-9