Occupational health behaviors and habits of women on dairy farms in Pennsylvania

Ginger D. Fenton, Kathryn J. Brasier, George F. Henning, Rama B. Radhakrishna, Bhushan M. Jayarao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to determine what tasks women perform, behaviors that could result in exposure to zoonotic disease, and preventative measures practiced by women on dairy farms. A written survey was sent to a stratified, random sample of dairy farms in Pennsylvania (n = 3709) using a modified version of the Dillman method. The tasks most commonly performed by the respondents (n = 624) included milking (70.8%), feeding (60.6%), and cleaning stalls (42.6%). The use of personal protective equipment was infrequent. Gloves were always worn when milking by 32.7%. More respondents, 96.5%, changed their clothes at least sometimes before working in the barn as compared to when leaving the barn. Handwashing was always performed by 86.7% after assisting with delivering calves, whereas 71.1% always washed their hands after milking. Eating and drinking in the barn were practiced by 45.0% and 72.0%, respectively. Veterinary obstetric drugs were administered by 28.2% of the respondents. Most of the respondents, 89.7%, indicated that they felt they had minimal to no risk of contracting a disease from the animals with which they worked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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