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Initiation of Farm Safety Programs in the Arkansas Delta: A Case Study of Participatory Methods

Authors

  • Jan S. Richter EdD, CHES,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Ark.
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  • Becky G. Hall EdD,

    1. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Regional Programs, Delta Area Health Education Center, Helena, Ark.
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  • G. David Deere MA

    1. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Partners for Inclusive Communities, North Little Rock, Ark.
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For further information, contact: Jan S. Richter, EdD, CHES, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Slot #820, 4301 West Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72207; e-mail richterjan@uams.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Context: Outreach to high-risk communities is one of the goals of Area Health Education Centers. One such population is the farm community, which is known to suffer high rates of traumatic events. Purpose: To describe a participatory methods initiative by the Arkansas Delta Area Health Education Center and other agencies to address farm-related health hazards in a 7-county region. Methods: Regional injury and fatality data were gathered from sources including Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation insurance claims, the Arkansas Statistical Service Phone Survey, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the Cooperative Extension Service Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Focus groups were held to assess farmer perceptions and recommendations. Findings and Recommendations: Accidents involving tractors accounted for 42% of deaths, and accidents with crop-spraying aircraft accounted for 36%. Focus group participants agreed that planting and harvesting seasons were particularly dangerous. Recommendations included educating motorists to be more cautious on agricultural area roads, using local farmers to provide farm safety training, and making safety equipment more available.

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