Injury and Illness Prevention in the Pacific Northwest for the Dairy Industry

Principal Investigator: Michael Yost, PhD, MS
Chair and Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Director, Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center

NIOSH 2016-2021

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.

Specific Aims

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 

Pilot: Injury and Illness Surveillance in the Pacific Northwest for the Dairy Industry