Short communication

Scand J Work Environ Health 2014;40(6):649-653    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3446

Impact evaluation of a farm safety awareness workshop in New Zealand

by Morgaine KC, Langley JD, McGee RO, Gray AR

Objective Farming is a hazardous occupation, with high rates of injury and death. FarmSafe, a whole-country approach, sought to address work-related injury on New Zealand sheep, beef, and dairy farms. More than 10 000 farmers participated in 630 workshops held over two years. This short communication presents the results of an impact evaluation of the FarmSafe Awareness Workshop (FSAW) in its first two years of operation.

Methods All FSAW participants completed, and received credit for, formal educational assessments. Pass rates were used to assess safety knowledge, and a quasi-experimental design with intervention and comparison groups was applied to assess attitudes, safety behaviors, and environmental determinants of injury.

Results An intervention (N=111) and two comparison groups (C1, N=409, and C2, N=78) completed before and after questionnaires. At follow-up, the intervention group (IG) showed a small improvement in attitudes toward safety (IG=79.3, C1=77.4; C2=77.4, P=0.035), but there were no differences between groups for personal safety practice or the safety environment of the farm. However, if a respondent registered their interest in the workshop, but a different person from the same farm attended, there was some improvement in the safety of the farm environment score.

Conclusion Well-conducted safety training tailored to farmers was still not enough to change safety practice. Future interventions may be more likely to achieve progress if they are comprehensive, include environmental and enforcement features, and target more than one participant per farm.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2003;29(4):288-296  2008;34(5):327-336