The purpose of this study was to assess how selected variables affect the confined- space hazard perceptions of farmers in Utah. A confined space was defined as "any space found in an agricultural workplace that was not designed or intended as a regular workstation, has limited or restricted means of entry or exit, and contains potential physical and toxic hazards to workers who intentionally or unintentionally enter the space" (proposed by NCERA-197, 18 May 2011, draft copy). A total of 303 out of 327 farm owner/operators provided complete surveys that were used in the analysis. The state of Utah was grouped into five regions in this study: central, east, northeast, northwest, and southwest. Grain and dairy production comprised 48.7% of the operations responding to the survey. The general linear modeling (GLM) procedure in SAS 9.3 was used to select the models on hazard perception scores for the five studied regions. Interested predictors included response type, production type, safety planning, and injury concerns. Animal production operations had the highest average number of confined spaces (μ = 4, SD = 2.7). Regionally, the northwest region had the highest average number of confined spaces (μ = 4, SD = 2.5). The variables contributing most to confined-space hazard perceptions were injury and death concerns while working alone in confined spaces. Three factors were generated using principle factor analysis (PFA) with orthogonal varimax rotation. Results suggested that factors affect hazard perceptions differently by region. We conclude that outreach and educational efforts to change safety behaviors regarding confined- space hazards should be strategically targeted for each region based on predicting factors. The result can assist agricultural safety and health professionals in targeting agricultural producers' social networks to address human factors such as worker attitudes and/or lack of skills or knowledge that effect hazard perceptions of confined spaces in agriculture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health