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DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR FARM-RELATED INJURIES INVOLVING LIVESTOCK MANURE STORAGE, HANDLING, AND TRANSPORT EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES WITH ANALYSIS AND IMPLICATIONS
Agriculture is a major industry in the U.S. with higher rates of mortality and morbidity due to occupational injuries when compared to other industries (BLS, 2016). Manure storage, handling, and transport facilities and equipment possess life threatening hazards on many livestock operations. These hazards include: 1) toxic manure gases generated within enclosed structures which can be fatal to both human and livestock due to direct exposure; 2) below and above ground liquid manure storage structures that have the potential risk for drowning and falling; 3) mechanical hazards associated with manure handling machinery, including entanglement and equipment failure, and 4) exposure to infectious agents found in livestock waste. Since the 1970’s over 2400 involving agricultural confined space incidents including nearly 460 incidents involving manure storage, handling and transport have been documented as part of ongoing surveillance by Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program. There have been several efforts that have examined this data; however, few have attempted to monitor or summarize over time injuries and fatalities associated with livestock manure storage, handling, or transport equipment and facilities. In addition, no published work was identified that attempted to design or implement an agricultural-based surveillance method or consistent data classification/coding system that could be used to analyze cases involving manure-related injuries and fatalities. This research was designed to contribute to a better understanding of the problem of manure-related hazards, through development of a uniform coding system to classify these incidents, ongoing surveillance of individual cases of related injuries or fatalities, estimation of the frequency and severity of these incidents, identifying geographic distribution and primary farm type, victim characteristics, and causative factors including those related to both respiratory and machinery hazards associated with manure storage, handling or transport. Findings include, under reporting of incidents preventing a comprehensive understanding of the problem, 75% of documented cases were male with an average age of 35, approximately 20% of all documented incidents involved children and youth age 21 and younger. Findings from the analysis of cases documented to date and future cases will be used to develop more effective, evidence- based injury prevention and mitigation strategies and to develop a representative baseline for future assessment of these efforts. Outcomes from this research included: 1) consistent strategy to document, code, and summarize manure-related incidents; 2) means of classification of key causative contributing factors; 3) identification of new or emerging trends; 4) analysis of the existing data set; and 5) recommendations for addressing key contributing factors through: identifying desired core competencies that should be addressed in future educational activities; new or modified engineering standards and potential regulatory concepts, and enforcement of current OSHA workplace safety and health regulations.