Research for healthy workers, strong communities, and productive agriculture (slogan)


fit testing a respirator

Resipirator fit-testing. Photo by S. Holland

The health and safety of workers is essential to a sustainable agricultural workplace. The benefit of healthy workers is seen at the farm and, by extension, in rural communities that are the sustenance of the agricultural economy.

Established in 1996, the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH) is one of ten national centers directed to conduct research, education, and prevention/intervention programs in agricultural industries. Our primary funding is from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Medical Aid and Accident funds.

PNASH activities aim to prevent occupational injury and illness, and promote best health and safety practices in agriculture in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

We select projects on the basis of: seriousness of hazard, exposure numbers, and the probability that research will make a difference

PNASH researchers from multiple disciplines explore health concerns such as chemical exposures, hearing loss, heat illness, musculoskeletal stress, skin disease, and traumatic injury. In addition to the general agricultural population, special groups we consider include: farm children and teens, hired workers, and older workers.

We share the knowledge we gain through outreach, professional education, and the dissemination of research findings and prevention solutions.

how we work (logic model) what is the problem? What is the cause? What are the solutions? How does it work?

Identify and address hazards with

  •  employers and employees
  •  health care providers
  •  health and safety professionals
  •  community organizations
  • academics, researchers, and students
  • local, state, and federal agencies

Find solutions through leading research and intervention programs in

  • occupational medicine
  • industrial hygiene
  • epidemiology

Promote agricultural health and safety in and beyond our region by developing

  • training materials
  • education programs
  • outreach activities
  • evaluation methods