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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Occupational health and safety

Effective Examples

HEAR on the Farm
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: To increase use of hearing protection among farmers and farmworkers.
  • Intervention: Researchers mailed an assortment of hearing protection devices to farmers and provided web-based information about hearing conservation to see which method or combination of methods was most effective.
  • Results: All participants increased their use of hearing protection. The largest increase occurred in those who received hearing protection devices in the mail.
Farm Dinner Theater
Added July 2021
  • Need: To encourage farmers to make health and safety changes on their farms.
  • Intervention: Farm Dinner Theater is an event in which farmers and their families watch three 10-minute plays covering health and safety topics and then discuss solutions to the issues addressed in each.
  • Results: In a study, farmers who attended the plays were more likely to make changes and tell others what they learned, compared to farmers who received an educational packet with the same information.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration New Mexico Mobile Screening Program for Miners
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • Need: To increase access to medical screening for miners in New Mexico.
  • Intervention: A mobile screening clinic with telemedicine capability screens miners for respiratory and other conditions.
  • Results: In a survey, 92% of miners reported their care as very good, while the other 8% reported it as good. The program has expanded to three other states.

Promising Examples

Tomah Hearing Loss Prevention Outreach
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
  • Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at a local tractor pull.
  • Results: More than 16,000 pairs of earplugs have been distributed, and attendees have been receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the audiology team.

Other Project Examples

Boone County Health Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • Need: Evidenced-based intervention to improve function and quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic lower respiratory conditions.
  • Intervention: Pulmonary rehabilitation program implementation in 1989.
  • Results: Compared to a national average of only about 3% of referred Medicare beneficiaries actually enrolling in pulmonary rehabilitation, 60% of the program's referred patients enroll. Averaging around 15 patients/year completing the program, a large combined cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation maintenance population averages 8,000 visits/year.
Farm Assessment and Rehabilitation Methods (FARM) Program
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: To help farmers with disabilities continue farming while protecting their well-being.
  • Intervention: The FARM program helps disabled or ill farmers continue to operate and work their Wisconsin farms.
  • Results: Since 2009, the FARM Program has helped over 3,000 farmers continue to farm, resume farming, or find an alternative agricultural occupation.
Safe Farming, Safe Living
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • Need: In 2014, the Avera St. Benedict Health Center's emergency department experienced a drastic increase in the amount of Hutterite patients with farm-related injuries.
  • Intervention: The South Dakota Critical Access Hospital created a program to educate Hutterite communities on farm hazards and safe work practices.
  • Results: Since the program began in 2015, the Avera St. Benedict emergency department has had no life-threatening agricultural injury admissions from the Hutterite communities. Attendees have said their confidence in their ability to identify hazards has increased, and more of them are using safety equipment on a regular basis.
AGRIMEDIC
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • Need: To reduce farm injuries and improve EMS and fire/rescue's response to these injuries in rural Louisiana.
  • Intervention: AGRIMEDIC is a two-day training for first responders.
  • Results: 732 first responders have received training.
Pennsylvania Rural Health Farm Worker Protection Safety Program
Updated/reviewed May 2020
  • Need: Agricultural producers and Pennsylvania's diverse farmworker population needed guidance on complying with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the safe use of pesticides used in agricultural production.
  • Intervention: An outreach education program providing compliance and technical assistance for growers was developed which included culturally appropriate training materials targeted to workers.
  • Results: Pesticide use training and other farm safety information is now readily available to Pennsylvania's farmers and farmworkers.