Dairy workers in Washington State have an injury claim rate 72% higher than the state average. The hazards of animal assaults, slips, trips and falls are exacerbated by a growing hired workforce that has little previous experience in this industry. This project is designed to deliver and evaluate worker safety training, and will include newly hired workers recruited for the Healthy Dairy Worker Study. The project, conducted in partnership with WSU, is guided by the ongoing participation of a Technical Advisory Group of agricultural and safety representatives and an Expert Working Group of on-the-ground dairy managers and workers involved in day-to-day activities of milk production and animal handling.
The purpose of this intervention project is to minimize acute worker injuries in Washington state dairies and develop a surveillance program to track acute and chronic injuries. The objectives are to 1) identify specific injuries typical to dairy workers using historic Worker Compensation (WC) claims data in Washington State; 2) develop and evaluate novel training and safety measures targeting these predominant injuries; 3) disseminate best practices to the Washington State Dairy Industry; and 4) develop an ongoing surveillance system for dairy injury and illness with the primary goal of identifying trends and emerging issues and secondary goal of evaluating the effectiveness of implemented interventions over time. This project is designed to include ongoing participation of a wide variety of industry representatives through both a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and an Expert Working Group (EWG) comprised of the on-the ground dairy managers and workers involved in day to day activities of milk production and animal handling.
Aim 1. Identify common tasks and circumstances associated with acute injury risk in Washington Dairies.
Aim 2. Survey current safety training and animal handling practices in Washington Dairies.
Aim 3. Establish an EWG comprised of managers and workers involved in day-to-day activities on the dairy.
Aim 4. Implement and evaluate selected training interventions with study population.
Aim 5. Develop a methodology to conduct a dairy injury surveillance program.
Aim 6. Translate results in a Best Practice Guide for minimizing injuries in Washington Dairies.
Partners and Advisories
Washington State University, Department of Animal Sciences
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, SHARP Program
Washington State Fatality Assessment (FACE) Program
Washington State Dairy Federation