Dairies along interstate 29 are undergoing expansion. Workload needs prompted hiring of migrant labor oftentimes with little experience. Dairy owners asked their respective Extension services for farm safety training programs to reduce injuries and promote preventive health. A project was developed to: 1. Increase owners’ and workers’ knowledge and awareness about safety practices, risks, and well-being; 2. Encourage owners to create a “culture of safety” in their operation. An invitational flier was developed and sent to dairies. Forty dairies form MN, IA, NE, and SD participated with 556 employees and 63 owners attended. Training was conducted on-site at one dairy per state, with neighboring dairies attending. To increase owners’ and workers’ awareness an overview manual and PPT presentations summarized common risk areas. In person recruitment was more effective than phone or mail. The hands-on nature of the project was effective to engage participants. Owners identified the need for safety signage. There was higher likelihood of changing practices when owners co-participated of the workshops. On-farm discussion was more beneficial to express concerns. Changes observed because of the knowledge gained: posting safety signs, installing first-aid kits, use of protective gear (i.e. gloves, goggles, respirators, footbath modification, cow handling facilities modification, development of a customized farm safety manual). These findings will be used in programs to find common ground between animal/human health and well-being.
Keywords: farm safety, workers, health risks, risk management