Utah farm owner/operators' safety practices and risk awareness regarding confined space work in agriculture

Michael Pate, A. S. Merryweather

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe current safety practices and risk awareness associated with confined spaces in agriculture among Utah farm owner/ operators. There were 399 farm owner/operators in the sample. The final response rate was 82.2%. The typical farm owner/operator in this study was male, between the ages of 50 and 59, with some education beyond high school. Grain and dairy production comprised 48.7% of the operations responding to the survey. A majority (50.2%) of respondents reported having entered a confined space without an observer waiting from the outside. All but 9.5% of the respondents indicated that they had no written emergency response plan in the event of a confined space emergency involving an entrant. Only 49.1% of farm owner/operators perceived entering a grain bin while unloading as a high risk for fatal injury. More research is needed to determine the farmers' knowledge of the variety of hazards associated with confined space work. Few farm owner/operators reported using accessible safety equipment. A limited number of respondents indicated having access to gas monitors, lifeline and harness systems, or ventilation blowers with flexible ducting. This may be associated with the costs of the equipment, or lack of awareness of the need for specific safety equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages273-284
Number of pages12
Volume18
No4
Specialist publicationJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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