(NIOSH 2011-2016 and WA State MAAF 2012-2013)This project developed an assay to improve understanding of worker exposures to a wide range of organophosphate (OP) pesticides and advanced the method for potential use in field and clinic settings, providing rapid feedback to workers, clinicians, and physicians.
Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center projects are multidisciplinary and respond to a variety of needs, from health care and monitoring to safety engineering and training.
Projects are competitively reviewed and funded. Topics we propose:
- Address hazards that are the most serious, affect the greatest number of workers, and where that research will make a difference.
- Meet the needs of Northwest employers, workers, and service providers. We have established a process that engages constituencies from agricultural, health, and safety to help us establish research priorities.
PNASH Research Priorities
View a downloadable pdf of our current active projects or sort research priorities by status, type, or topic area (below).
(NIOSH 2006-2011) This project expanded an analytical method used for cholinesterase monitoring in pesticide handlers by acquiring additional, custom-synthesized analytical standards to improve the accuracy and precision.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) Children living in agricultural communities have the potential to be exposed to pesticides from residue from the clothes and shoes of family members working in agricultural operations. This longitudinal study seeks to explore the relationship between home exposure to organophosphate pesticides to neurobehavioral performance in children to examine neurodevelopmental changes.
(WA State MAAF 2012-2014) Farmworker exposure to agricultural pesticide drift is a high priority issue. In May 2014, the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) alerted state agencies and growers of a spike in pesticide spray drift illness cases among orchard workers. Over a two-month period, approximately 60 individuals were exposed to pesticides in 15 drift events, which is equal to the number of cases that the agency normally sees over the course of an entire year. In response, there have been calls for improved communication between farms, sprayers, and crew members.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) This project aims to understand the mechanisms of pesticide drift exposure among agricultural workers and prevent such exposures in the future. We will link data from the WA Department of Health and WSU Ag WeatherNet to determine the probability of drift events due to environmental conditions during spraying, develop a predictive model, and conduct field studies to validate our model. Study findings will be used to provide new user-friendly tools and trainings to predict drift event-prone weather conditions.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1991-2002) This investigation focused on the measurement of pesticide exposures in children of agricultural producers and farm workers and an analysis of risks associated with such exposures. It also explored new exposure assessment methods for evaluating exposure and risk in these populations. The project demonstrated that soil and house dust concentrations in and around the homes of agricultural families are significantly higher than those found for reference families in the same community, and that such patterns continue over several years.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) This partnership study with WSU will enroll new workers in the dairy industry and evaluate microbiome changes over time. We will characterize worker exposures to microbes and allergens and evaluate whether these exposures impart immune benefits (the ‘hygiene hypothesis’), and/or increase risk of disease, including infection and airway inflammation. This study will help identify priorities for preventive interventions and healthy host adaptation to the dairy environment.
(NIOSH 2011-2016) This project evaluated interventions designed to reduce worker exposure and risk during pesticide applications in tree fruit. Bringing together land grant universities, industry, producers, and workers, this work sought to ensure that the decision process used for adopting new pesticide products and new spray technology development includes worker health and safety.
(NIOSH 2014-2017) The forest service workforce in the Pacific Northwest is largely immigrant, low-literate and Spanish-speaking with unique vulnerabilities due to a lack of skills and safety training, occupational immobility, remote work locations, and small contractor employment. This research-to-practice project will examine how working conditions for Latino immigrant forest workers contribute to work-related injuries and illnesses.
El Proyecto Bienestar (EPB) or, Well Being Project, is a long standing community health intervention effort guided by a Yakima Valley community advisory board and a partnership of: The University of Washington; Northwest Communities Education Center/Radio KDNA; Heritage University; Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) Building on our previous heat-related illness (HRI) studies, we will develop and evaluate a multi-level approach to address HRI for farmworkers in the tree fruit industry. The project will assess a proposed work-based intervention program as well as whether off-hour environmental conditions contribute to risk for HRI during work. To accomplish study aims, an Expert Working Group (EWG), that includes workers, farm managers, and other stakeholders will guide the development, testing, and dissemination of the intervention.
(NIOSH 2014-2017) Our previous survey on personal and family health in agricultural families, revealed stress-related behavioral health problems. The purpose of this project is to identify agricultural work stressors and provide training for farm owners and farmworkers to reduce workplace stress.
(NIOSH 2011-2016) This project aims to minimize agricultural worker and family pesticide exposure in the tree fruit industry by translating and disseminating research results and overcoming barriers to pesticide safety practices, particularly those that affect the large Hispanic workforce in the Pacific Northwest.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) Commercial fishing remains among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. This project seeks to broaden injury surveillance in this industry by developing a surveillance resource, allowing for tailored hazard assessments, and sustaining crucial regional partners for commercial fishing safety.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) This project will identify and evaluate solutions that farm managers, forest service managers, and pesticide handlers can implement to minimize pesticide exposures. The new resources will be applicable to the revised EPA Worker Protection Standard and recent food safety requirements. We will engage workers and managers in walk-through evaluations and field testing to identify key safety issues and novel solutions. This project will deliver the solutions through expanded hands-on pesticide training modules and the use of online media to ensure broad access.
(NIEHS 2014-2019) The primary goal of the HAPI project, made possible through El Proyecto Bienestar, is to reduce exposure to inflammatory agents and allergens in the homes of an environmental justice community of Latino children residing in an area of intense dairy and crop based industrial agricultural production.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1989-2002) Lead arsenate was used in large quantities in orchards in Washington State for about four decades. Although lead arsenate is no longer used in the fruit industry, residual contamination is evident in orchard soils. Several potential routes of exposure to children exist. Adult workers in the orchards may inadvertently transport soil and dust to their homes or children residing in close proximity may play in the orchards. Orchard land may also be subdivided and converted to residential property.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1993-2000) The overall goal of this study was to determine whether farm workers who thin fruit trees exhibit neurological changes following one season of exposure to low levels of organophosphorus insecticides compared to workers who were not exposed. Data were collected 97 in follow-up testing. A wide ranging number of tests, including peripheral and central nervous system function, were applied to both groups. Cholinesterase was measured both after the exposure season and after the period of non-exposure.
(PNASH Pilot, 1995-2000) Researchers characterized the relationships between various bioaerosol-related assays during composting operations using agricultural wastes. The assays included were standard microbiological assays (high and low temperature incubation for fungi and bacteria) on samples taken on filter cassettes, 1-3 b d glucan, possibly 1-6 b d glucan, and an extracellular polysacharride (EPS) specifically associated with aspergillus and penicillium species.
Washington State Cholinesterase Monitoring Rule Evaluation: Medical Monitoring Education, Informed Consent for Handlers
(NIOSH/CDC, 1995-2000) In 2004, the state of Washington began requiring the medical monitoring of farm workers who work frequently with high toxicity pesticides. Washington follows only California in adopting this type of policy, presenting the opportunity for creating a model program. PNASH helped the state build the program by ensuring that there are well-developed and evaluated training programs for the medical providers who will work with employees and employers, and informed consent procedures for participating workers, many with low literacy.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1996-2001) The extent and severity of agricultural health and safety hazards are largely unknown in the Pacific Northwest region. This project was designed to engage various constituencies familiar with agricultural health and safety throughout Region X.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1996-2001) This project explored the way specific demographics, context, process, and outcome factors influence farm health and safety decisions made by women who are farmers, farm wives, or partners. The intervention program designed for women and their farm partners was based on the results of this project’s initial research. It included safety farm assessment training for farm women and an evaluation component to measure the impact of the training and its effectiveness.
(NIOSH/CDC 1996-2001) Aerosolized crab antigens are suspected etiologic agents for asthma among crab processing workers. The goal of this study was to characterize crab antigen levels in processing facilities in relative to the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. Industry and labor representatives in the Northwest have identified respiratory illness, specifically asthma, among those who process crab. In addition, industry representatives have noted difficulty in determining which processing areas may be associated with the greatest risk.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1997-2000) During the past decade, the apple warehouse industry in Washington state has grown considerably, both in production and technology. Up to 15,000 employees work in warehouses with a large percentage of women. Approximately two-thirds of these workers are of Mexican descent. Both management and labor have identified health and safety concerns in the industry, such as musculoskeletal diseases, carbon monoxide poisoning, and slips and falls.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1997-2000) The objectives of this cross-sectional questionnaire study were to: estimate the frequency of injuries among Washington state purse seiners; identify major injury patterns among seiners; characterize the most hazardous tasks and potential methods for intervention among the purse seiner fleet.
Self-reporting and self-mailing questionnaires were distributed to the purse seiner fleet during the fishing season in southeast Alaska. The vast majority of these boats are owned and operated by Washington state residents.
(NIOSH/CDC 1997-1999) University of Idaho Departments of Agriculture Communications and Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Oregon State University, and Washington State University, developed a series of Agricultural Safety and Health fact sheet publications that were made available within the Pacific Northwest Region.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1997-2000) The Magic Valley SAFE KIDS Coalition, based in Twin Falls, Idaho, collaborated with Center investigators to evaluate the effectiveness of the animal handling component of their Farm Safety Day Camps. The project identified observable and measurable safe animal handling behavior, tested the pilot evaluation tool for reliability, and refined the tool.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1998-2002) Workers in the forest industry are exposed to a number of sources of hand-arm and whole-body vibration, including a variety of hand tools and heavy equipment. Vibration exposure in forestry workers has been associated with negative health effects such as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in several countries. The development of HAVS, or any of the ailments it encompasses, can force workers out of their employment by preventing them from performing their normal job tasks.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1998-2000) The Skagit County Cooperative Extension office and their community sponsors have developed an annual Safety Workshop to train young workers on tractor and farm machine safety. They invited PNASH to evaluate its effectiveness. We developed a child-relevant safe behavior self-assessment tool; composed additional farm safety and environmental health curriculum to complement the Safety Workshop; assessed parental attitudes about farm health and safety; and evaluated the needs of underserved Hispanic youth in Skagit County.
(NIOSH/CDC, 1999-2000) Direct assessment of the proportion of teenagers working in agriculture and the percent injured is sparsely reported in the literature and has not been performed in the Northwest United States. This project estimated the proportion of teenage children who work for pay in agriculturally related jobs in a rural town in Washington's Yakima Valley.
(PNASH Pilot, 1999-2000) This project was designed to investigate the feasibility of measuring pesticide exposure using saliva in children. Conventional biomonitoring methods, such as blood and urine collections, have several, inherent practical limitations, which prohibit its application to large-scale studies or to studies involving sub-populations, such as children. Saliva biomonitoring could provide a useful tool for researchers in determining not only the exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides, but the absorbed dose as well.
(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.
(NIOSH/CDC, 2000-2002) This project evaluated noise exposures and hearing conservation practices in selected agricultural industries identified as having high numbers and/or incidence rates of workers' compensation claims for hearing loss. The proposed project augmented an ongoing, NIOSH-funded study (Daniell, PI; 1-R01-OH03894-01; "Epidemic occupational hearing loss in Washington State"). The PNASH support expanded the study to include agricultural industries with worksites beyond the planned study area.
(NIEHS, 2000-2004) The work of the PNASH Center has led to improved methods of dermal exposure assessment for agricultural workers and more accurate models for dermal absorption of pesticides. Our work with the direct-reading ATR-FTIR method shows promise as a rapid and inexpensive method for determining pesticide concentrations on the skin and uptake rates.
(NIOSH/CDC, 2001-2007) This study found that ladders were the leading cause of orchard injuries, accounting for 30% of injury claims and costing $21.5 million over a six-year period. Ladder accidents were a consequence of unstable placement, over-extension of the third leg, slipping while descending, or being struck by a falling ladder. These hazards most commonly resulted in sprains and strains, eye injuries, and fractures and dislocations. Study results were drawn from comprehensive review of injury claims and personal interviews.
Development of a Community Theater Troupe: Health and Farm Safety Training for Hispanic Agricultural Workers
(NIOSH 2001-2004) The EWU Center for Farm Health and Safety developed a successful program that uses Spanish-language theater to provide farm workers with information on health hazards and prevention strategies. Based on data gathered from health and safety literature, key informant interviews, and a farm worker focus group, it was apparent that health and safety education must be sensitive to the literacy and language constraints of this worker population. Theater was selected as a method of providing farm health and safety education because it does not require a high level of literacy.
(NIOSH 2002-2003) With this project, PNASH developed an audiotape survey to assist in the diagnoses of farm worker patients with depression or other mental illnesses. This tool was developed for farmworkers who speak Spanish and have limited literacy skills. Our study found that the self-administered, tape recorded survey was reliable for diagnosis of mental illness. These audiotapes are available for use by health care providers.
Publication(s) & Materials
(NIOSH 2002-2004) The aim of this project was to investigate farm workers’ exposure to agricultural burning smoke and the resulting airborne pollutants and to assess the potential health hazards. Washington State University was our principal partner on the project. The results showed acute exposure at levels far higher than the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard and the occupational standards for respiratory dust.
(NIOSH 2002-2004) In an effort to reduce wildland firefighter injury and illness, PNASH worked with the USDA Forest Service and Blackbull Wildfire Services to characterize injuries to wildland firefighters. The study collected injury data from major Northwestern fires in the 2000 season and analyzed the association between the type, severity and rate of injuries, the class of firefighter involved, and the time spent fighting the fire.
(EPA/NIEHS 2004-2014) Children of agricultural producers and workers can be exposed to pesticides and other agricultural chemicals if workplace chemicals are inadvertently brought into their homes.
Communication of Pesticide Health Risks - Health Care Providers for Children of Agricultural Families
(WA Sate MAAF 2004-2007) Through educational courses and workshops, we provided health care professionals with current scientific information regarding neurodevelopmental health risks for children with exposure to OP pesticides. This information was needed to understand the known, and sometimes uncertain, health risks to their pediatric patients. Based on our audience research, PNASH developed educational formats that meet health care professionals' need for current scientific information.
(NIOSH 2004-2007) Lead by Dr. Richard Fenske, this project transferred a research tool for assessing pesticide exposure, the fluorescent tracer (FT) technique, into a hands-on pesticide handler training program
(NIOSH 2004-2007) Eastern Washington University’s Center for Farm Health and Safety used videotaped Spanish language theater, hands-on demonstrations and practice, and photonovela handouts to train workers on sound ergonomic practices. More than 200 migrant and seasonal orchard and packinghouse workers and their supervisors were trained in Washington.
(WA MAAF, NIOSH 2005-2008) This curriculum was developed to teach students in grades 9-12 introductory information about workplace health and safety in an agricultural work environment. The flexible five-unit curriculum addresses the unique job hazards found in an agriculture work setting. The curriculum is composed of interactive age appropriate lessons that help engage students in learning about topics such as:
(WA State MAAF 2005-2007) We provided the farming community with educational resources to promote the understanding of current science regarding the risks of OP pesticides. Our survey of producers and pesticide handlers in Washington state showed that respondents most often obtained their information on pesticides from product labels and dealers. They expressed interest in learning more about acute pesticide illness, cancer, ChE testing, and children's health. The survey also showed the preferred route for received information to be from conferences, recertification classes, or articles.
(NIH through the Idaho Mountain States Group 2005-2011) This partnership with the Idaho Mountain States Group addressed health disparities among Idaho Hispanics. We advised on community-based participatory research methodologies and provided research and health care expertise to help communities address safety and health interests. Community health workers are key in research and prevention, teaching about metabolic syndrome, and leading healthy eating and exercise programs.
Tractors remain the leading cause of death and serious injury in US agriculture. The NIOSH Agricultural Centers collaborated to create a national injury prevention program to address this problem. We conducted focus groups as background to promote the initiative and work with national partners to develop communication materials.
(NIOSH 2005-2011) Lead by Dr. Matthew Keifer, the goal of this project was to improve the training of health care providers in the diagnosis, care, and prevention of pesticide poisonings among those who work with pesticides. This project advanced the EPA’s goal to protect human health and address the intent of the Pesticide Registration and Improvement Act through improved poisoning reporting.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) This study seeks to investigate determinants for overexposure to organophosphate and methylcarbamate pesticides by exploring and characterizing the risks among pesticide handlers participating in the Washington State ChE monitoring program.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) The ChE Test Kit has been used in countries around the globe and has been reported upon in many studies in the published literature. It has shown good performance when compared to laboratory-based systems. Easy to apply in a clinician’s office, the Test-mate can substantially reduce the time necessary to detect a cholinesterase inhibitor overexposure and will speed the response of the clinician with regard to removing over-exposed workers.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) This field-based study identified, evaluated and disseminated practical pesticide safety measures that reduce pesticide exposures of agricultural workers and their families. These measures were developed on farms and brainstormed by a team of industry experts that included managers, workers, and pesticide safety educators.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) ‘Reality tales,’ used Northwest workers’ injury experiences to teach critical prevention strategies. This project used the oral tradition of storytelling to translate health and safety research and education for agricultural producers and workers on two critical issues: ladder injuries and heat stress. The use of stories to communicate information, values, and lessons is an effective educational strategy.
(NIOSH 2006-2011) This two-year exploratory project investigated a probable cause of Yakima County’s high rates of diarrheal illness – bacterial pathogens from livestock, taken home or in well water. It is hypothesized that occupational and environmental exposure pathways from livestock operations pose a significant risk of exposure to zoonotic bacterial contamination for farmworkers and their families. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of currently available methods for recovery of example bacteria from various surfaces. These methods are available to exposure science researchers.
(NIEHS/CDC 2009-2014) This community-based project characterized ambient triggers of asthma in the rural setting by following 50 (children and adults) asthmatic community participants, mapping their exacerbations and comparing these with known agricultural exposures.
Ergonomic Evaluation and Development of Best Practices for the Use of Mobile Work Platform Technology in Orchards
(WA State MAAF 2009-2011) The PNASH Center worked to 'design-in' safety measures into developing agricultural technologies, such as mobile platforms. Mobile platforms are self propelled and self guided all terrain vehicles with an adjustable height platform that carry a team of 4-8 workers through the orchard at very low speeds (<1 mph) allowing for rapid and repetitive hand work without the change in position or tasks associated with ladder work. This change, if not carefully researched and implemented, could have adverse health, safety, and economic outcomes.
(PNASH Pilot, 2009-2011) In the US, logging is among the top three most dangerous jobs, and when all factors are considered, logging is likely the most dangerous job and the most exertive work. Data in OR, WA, and ID show that 50% of loggers are at least 45 years old - and that percentage is growing. This pilot project assessed the ergonomic and economic benefits of using synthetic rope to replace wire rope in standardized logging tasks for older workers (>age 40) compared to current practices and younger workers.
(NIOSH 2011-2016) This project partners with Washington State University to reduce pesticide use in dairy operations by introducing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in these workplaces. We are working with a network of participants to develop a robust and practical IPM program that provides evidence for cost-effective interventions that can reduce pesticide usage in these farm operations.
Development of a Surveillance Strategy to Guide Injury Prevention Efforts in the Washington Commercial Fishing Industry
(WA State MAAF 2011-2013) This project responded to a pressing need to examine non-fatal fishing injuries data in order to identify areas where interventions are most needed to prevent injuries.
(NIOSH 2011-2013) This project collaborated with Hmong refugee farmers in Washington State to identify and address farm hazards using novel community-based participatory approaches along with conventional industrial hygiene methods, and a systematic assessment of the working conditions and practices of Hmong refugee farmers.
(NIOSH 2011-2016) Tree-fruit activities such as pruning, structural cutting, and green fruit thinning, are high-intensity labor activities traditionally performed on the ground or on ladders. To explore the impact of new technology on worker strain and injury, this project conducted a comparison between three different treatment groups: ground, ladder, and harvest-assisted mobile platforms.
(WA State MAAF 2012-2014) This project expanded the use of two recent PNASH-produced Spanish radio programs on ladder safety and heat-related illness prevention into a video tool for farmworker training.
(WA State MAAF 2012-2014) This project responds to specified PPE needs for the tree fruit and related industries in Washington State that can reduce pesticide handler exposure and pesticide-related pesticide-related illness.
(NIOSH 2014-2017) This project examines the association between heat exposure and traumatic injury risk in agricultural workers, the relationship between heat stress and productivity, and the feasibility of using a biomarker of heat acclimation to detect workers at risk for heat-related illness and injury, with the ultimate goal of prevention.
(Oregon OSHA 2015-2016) This small project supported by Oregon OSHA will produce a glossary of forestry services terms
in Spanish using the most common Spanish idiom used by forestry services firms. Hispanic forestry workers provide
valuable work in various forest management activities and they face many hazards. Language barriers and the use of
specific technical and lay jaron, complicates effective safety communication. Workers are unfamiliar with the tasks
they perform, forest management practices, and goals.
(NIOSH 2016-2021) 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.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2011-2012) Many factors impact the health of agricultural workers, including workplace hazards, exposure to chemicals, limited resources, and limited access to medical care. This purpose of this project is to assess workplace stress in agricultural workers to understand the role of occupational stress has on their health and well-being.
Pilot Project: Validation of Sampling and Analytic Techniques for Fungi and Bacteria in Agricultural Organic Dust Exposure
(NIOSH/CDC, 1997-2000) The main goal of this project was to develop a validated questionnaire for the detection of asthma in community-based studies of Spanish-speaking Mexican populations in Washington State. A secondary goal was to collect pilot prevalence data on asthma in the Yakima Valley Hispanic population. Asthma, now recognized as one of the most common occupational lung diseases, is associated with many differing agricultural exposures. The Spanish-speaking migrant and seasonal farm worker population represents a large percentage of Region X and the U.S.
(PNASH Pilot, 1998-1999) Agricultural use of pesticides and fertilizers has grown dramatically in the last several years. Contamination of the hydrologic system by these chemicals is an increasing concern and much effort has been made to build databases containing measurements of these chemicals in drinking water sources. These geographically-referenced data (accessible by latitude/longitude coordinates of the target residence or facility) have yet to be used in epidemiologic studies of health outcomes.
Pilot Project: Finding Common Ground: Developing, Testing, and Evaluating a Narrative Based Model for Presenting Safety Information in Two Socially Diverse Farm Communities
(PNASH Pilot, 2001-2004) This project was conducted through the EWU Center for Farm Safety and Health, which has compared formal and informal (through story telling) communication models used to promote safety. The two models have been tested with intergenerational family farmers and non-intergenerational farmers. This project identified the variables and allowed us to test the efficacy of incorporating informal discourse into formalized, farm safety intervention strategies.
Pilot Project: Developing, Testing an Objective Tool for Measuring Postural and Vibrational Exposures During Forestry and Agricultural Work
(PNASH Pilot, 2001-2005) Forty-two noise exposures and 164 whole-body (WBV) and hand-arm (HAV) vibration exposures were collected from 43 forestry workers in six trades employed by two forestry companies. Data were collected on 10 days over 8 weeks during a various felling, logging, and log handling operations.
(NIOSH 2006-2009) Oregon Health and Sciences University researchers conducted a video observation study of loggers at work, concentrating on fallers, using video equipment attached to a hard hat for a first-person point of view. This is a promising technique for research and training.
(NIOSH 2007-2009) Latino immigrant workers are increasingly finding employment as laborers in Pacific Northwest forests. This project provided a baseline understanding of the hazards faced by salvage cedar block cutters and the barriers they may face in addressing these occupational health and safety hazards. Employing community based participatory research methods, 13 key informant interviews were conducted with forest and community workers. The findings of this project, in brief, include:
(NIOSH 2007-2008) Dairy workers in concentrated animal feeding operations may be at risk for respiratory illness from bioaerosols. This exploratory project in partnership with Washington State University quantified both organism and endotoxin levels and correlated them with environmental factors. A sampling methodology for organism dense environments was developed and described.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2010-2011) The forest service workforce, a predominately Spanish-speaking and immigrant population, faces language barriers, isolated working environments, and dangerous working conditions placing them at risk for injury and illness. This project explored the occupational safety and health concerns of a Latino workforce to inform a promotora program for education and prevention.
(PNASH PIlot Project 2010-2011) The Oregon Crab Fishing Safety Assessment evaluated the effectiveness of current US Coast Guard and Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission safety initiatives and safety training programs, and field-tested five different PFDs; focusing on PFD attitudes, worker attitudes, and perceived risks. The results of this study provide feedback for policymakers and the industry considering additional safety measures, and contribute, with a local perspective, to future prevention-focused safety efforts in Oregon.
Pilot: Reducing Occupational Health and Safety Risks Among Young Workers in Agriculture through Clinician Engagement
(PNASH Pilot Project 2011-2013) Occupational hazards of adolescent farm workers is a topic many argue is critical, but for which there have been few directed activities in the research and healthcare community. This project tailored the RCAT survey instrument to develop a tool for clinicians to assess and reduce the risks of their adolescent agricultural patients.
(PNASH Pilot Program 2012-2013) Farmworkers are at an increased risk for heat-related illness given their work requires heavy exertion in an outdoor setting. This study explored the personal, cultural, environmental, and work-related risk factors for heat-related illness for Latino farmworkers in Oregon.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2013-2014) Previous human and animal studies suggest that some pesticides, including those typically applied by agricultural pesticide handlers, may increase the risk of parkinsonism (PS). This study assessed the feasibility of conducting neurological exams on active pesticide handlers, to determine the prevalence PS symptoms.
(PNASH Pilot 2013-2015) Filipino migrant and immigrants are the dominant racial/ethnic workforce in fish processing in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, composing 28% of the total resident population. This pilot project will assess risk factors for occupational illness and injury due to physically demanding work and unpredictable working conditions among Dutch Harbor/Unalaska's Filipino migrant fishing workers.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2013-2015) This video project will integrate current pesticide safety standards into the video, Fieldworker Orientation and Food Safety/Orientation/Orientation para el Trabajador Agricola y Seguridad Alimenticia. The video is bilingual and will be used by growers and workers in Washington and across the United States to ensure effective food safety practices.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2013-2015) Dairy farming requires close contact between people and animals, with transmissions that can be a source of zoonotic disease. The development of evidence-based best practices for managing transmission of microorganisms in the farm environment could help dairy production minimize risks to workers, livestock, and the general public.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2014-2015) With PNASH funding, this project addresses a high hazard occupation where information on non-fatal (but serious) injuries are limited. This pilot estimates non-fatal injuries among commercial fishermen, describes high-risk work processes, and identifies particularly vulnerable worker populations, such as young workers.
(PNASH Pilot Project 2014-2015) Commercial fishing is the most hazardous occupation in the U.S. with workers experiencing both acute and chronic health risks. While fishing fatality data is an area of active research, information on chronic health conditions that affect fishermen is limited. This one-year study assessed chronic health conditions and habits among the gillnet fleet based out of Cordova, AK.