Economics of Preventing Injuries to Adolescent and Adult Farmers (EOP II)

Adolescents ages 15-19 are at high risk for traumatic injuries and fatalities related to production agriculture. A core Southeast Center project, the Economics of Preventing Injury to Adolescent & Adult Farmers (EOP II), therefore aims to (1) promote more effective safety and health education among agricultural stakeholders, and (2) increase both adolescents’ and adults’ use of personal protective equipment and control technologies.

ATV rider assists another with helmet

Under CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement U50OH007547 (EOP I), Principal Investigator Dr. Joan Mazur and colleagues developed a program of interactive instructional materials that simulate a typical case scenario for four types of injuries across the pre-event, event, and post-event stages: (1) crush injuries to operators when tractors without rollover protective structures (ROPS) overturn; (2) deadly collisions between farm tractors and other motor vehicles on public roadways, (3) traumatic brain injuries to horseback and ATV riders without helmets, and (4) hearing loss to individuals with long-term exposure to high frequencies and loud noises.

Each of the simulation exercises is accompanied by an interactive Excel™-based cost tool that calculates the costs of each injury and the cost-effectiveness of its prevention. Paper forms of the simulations (which are based on real-life injury case scenarios) and a CD version of the cost tools were evaluated in four rural high schools and found to be appropriate for inclusion within the core curriculum content of social studies and vocational agriculture classes. The materials were also found to be effective in encouraging students to think critically about three important questions: (1) Who in my community is at risk of these types of injuries? (2) What are the costs of these injuries and who bears these costs? (3) In what ways can these injuries be prevented, and why is it cost effective to do so?

Funded in 2011 by CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement 2U54OH007547, the EOP II project now aims to provide greater online access to these field-tested, evidence-based educational materials. In collaboration with colleagues in the UK College of Agriculture, FFA, and the National Association of Agricultural Educators, Dr. Mazur and other members of the project team are working to develop and evaluate several new online products requested by EOP I partners. These products include a digital game-based learning template (Hazard Ridge) derived from the original simulation exercises and cost tools, as well as virtual tractor safety inspections that have been shown to motivate youth to identify hazards and adopt preventive measures.

EOP online:

Principal Investigator: Joan M. Mazur, PhD, Professor Curriculum and Instructional Design, University of Kentucky College of Education, 345 Dickey Hall, Lexington, KY, 40506-0017, Telephone 859-257-4896.