Excessive worker injury rates continue in agriculture. Adult and senior farmers in the Southern U.S. region experience the highest occurrence of agricultural occupational injury and mortality in the nation. In this community-based, translationa intervention effectiveness research study, we will work with established farm community organizations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, to develop and test a novel intervention: didactic reader's theater, with 450 adult and senior farmers, and their family members, to positively change farm work culture and safety behavior. A comparison group (n=450) will allow rigorous analysis of the effect of the intervention. In the final year we will pilot test the intervention's effect with younger farmers (n=80), plus a comparison group, (n=80). Together with the farm organizations, we will establish mechanisms to sustain the intervention in farm communities. We expect, given our pilot data, that this intervention will have a substantial impact on decreasing injury risk in the target states and other southern states, with generalizability to multiple rural areas in the United States. This proposal addresses HP 2020 Occupational Safety and Health through the NORA Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) Sector Council's Strategic Goal #2 - Vulnerable workers (subset older farmers), Action step 2.43: "Facilitate the development and evaluation of high quality and appropriate materials where gaps exist";Goal #3: "Move proven health and safety strategies into agricultural, forestry and fishing workplaces through the development of partnerships and collaborative efforts";Goal #4: "Reduce the number, rate, and severity of traumatic injuries and deaths involving hazards of production agriculture and support activities", and Goal #5: "Improve the health and well-being of agricultural workers by reducing occupational causes or contributing factors to acute and chronic illness and disease". It also addresses the cross sectors of work organization, health disparities, traumatic injury, and stress-related disorders.
The specific aims are to: 1. Develop and deliver, in cooperation with the farm community, a translational intervention, didactic readers theater, to reduce injury and enhance the health of adult and senior farmers, and their families;2. Test the efficacy of the agricultural health/safety didactic readers theater in changig farm work behavior of adult and senior farmers and their families;3. Strengthen the local capacity of agricultural communities and organizations to develop and deliver effective health and safety interventions through theater and other approaches, over time (sustainability).
Agriculture has excessive worker injury rates. Senior farmers and adult farmers in the South experience some of the highest occupational injury and mortality in the nation. In this community-based intervention project, we will work with established farm community organizations to develop and test a didactic reader's theater intervention to positively change farm work culture and safety behavior. Together with the farm organizations we will establish mechanisms to sustain the intervention in farm communities. We expect, given our pilot data, that this intervention will have a substantial impact on decreasing farmers'injury ris in Southern states with generalizability to multiple rural areas in the United States.