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Conference Name Safe handling of agricultural chemicals for Spanish-speaking dairy employees

Trisha Wagner and Cheryl Skjolaas

Summary

Summary
Labor is one of the biggest issues facing dairy farms today. It is critically important that producers provide necessary training to their workers so they can safely do their job. With the increase in Hispanic workers on dairy farms, communication can create a barrier when providing training on the farm.

This presentation will discuss accessibility issues for farm employees to traditional programs including language, literacy and legal status, and a new video project which aims to improve education for dairy employees about the potential risks of handling agricultural chemicals and recommendations to keep themselves safe.

One of the hazards that dairy employees face every day is chemical handling. For example, highly concentrated soaps, dips, foot bath solutions, and other chemicals can cause injury to employees if not handled properly. While chemical safety information is available in English through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Applicator Certification program, accessibility is an issue for many farm employees.

UW-Extension agents created four employee training videos in Spanish and English to help teach employees about the potential risks of handling chemicals, how they can be prevented, and what to do in case of exposure. The videos are publicly accessible on YouTube and viewable with a smartphone for easier accessibility.

The four videos covered in the series are:

Introduction to agricultural chemical safety
Dermal exposure (including oral exposure) to chemicals
Inhalation exposure to chemicals
Eye exposure to chemicals

Details