Prevention of Agricultural Injuries Resulting from Ladder Falls

(NIOSH/CDC, 2000-2001) Researchers evaluated a Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ accident prevention program implemented by their Yakima regional office in Kittitas, Grant, and Adams counties. The three-year injury prevention program aimed to reduce the frequency and cost of claims that are related to falls from ladders in the orchard and to eye injuries. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with farm workers who were injured on the job following a fall from a ladder and who filed a claim prior to the L&I implementation of the prevention program. Information was collected on the circumstances of the injury, prior training, knowledge of and barriers to the use of preventive practices, and the injured worker’s perception of what could have been done to prevent the accident and related injury. Investigators then conducted field assessments of the level of program implementation and analyzed pre- and post-program claims data among intervention and non-intervention growers to determine the degree of program effectiveness.