This application will accomplish three specific aims: 1. Develop or identify existing control technologies for work performed on nursery operations engaged in bedding and garden plants and nursery crops production in the US Midwest. We will reduce hazards (and thereby injuries) by developing or identifying controls that reduce exposures to physical work hazards for musculoskeletal and traumatic injuries. The types of controls we will consider will include work practices, tools, labor aids, and administrative controls. We will seek out reports from nursery managers, commercial suppliers, university Extension, and others about emerging production practices that could improve both safety and profits. We will also collaborate with university instructors and their students in design and other engineering courses to accomplish this aim. 2. Conduct field research to evaluate the control technologies from Specific Aim #1 with the most promise to determine their impact on production and to verify that musculoskeletal risk factor reductions actually take place when the practices are adopted. We will undertake small scale, field studies to quantitatively evaluate the hazard-reducing and profit-enhancing aspects of two to four of the best production practices each year. Comparisons will be made in the field or in laboratory simulations between accomplishing work by the conventional methods and with the improved control technology. Less than a half dozen subjects in each condition for less than a half day of work are anticipated. Small scale field studies will also be undertaken on operations that have adopted practices to verify that musculoskeletal risk factor reductions actually take place. 3. Conduct and evaluate a large, region-wide intervention to promote the best control technologies from Specific Aim #2, to the 7,888 nursery operations in seven North Central states (WI, MN, MI, IA, and IL, IN, OH) that produce bedding and garden plants and nursery crops. Disseminate information about the improved work practices through the sources that growers are already known to rely on for information about new production methods (i.e. other growers, trade publication, public events, university Extension and other private and public sector resource people, the Internet, etc.). Evaluate the interventions with annual mail questionnaires to separate, population-based, rolling probability samples of the study group (n=650 nursery growers/year) and the control group (320 New Zealand nursery growers/year).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-GXC (04))
Program Officer
Robison, William
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Wisconsin Madison
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
Zip Code
Chapman, Larry J; Newenhouse, Astrid C; Karsh, Ben-Tzion (2010) Evaluation of a 3year intervention to increase adoption of safer nursery crop production practices. Appl Ergon 41:18-26
Chapman, Larry J; Newenhouse, Astrid C; Pereira, Kathryn M et al. (2008) Evaluation of a four year intervention to reduce musculoskeletal hazards among berry growers. J Safety Res 39:215-24