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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UNMC: Survey Finds Only Half of Feedyard Workers Have Dedicated Safety Personnel

Agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries in the United States and across the world, characterized by high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses [1,2]. Cattle feedyards, a type of intensive animal feeding operation, are no exception. For example, the occupational fatality rate in the beef cattle ranching and farming industries including feedyards (North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, 11211) in 2017 was 151 fatalities per 100,000 workers, a rate six times higher than that of the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector (23.0/100,000) and 43 times higher than the rate of all industries combined (3.5/100,000) [2].

Dr. Athena K. Ramos, Ms. Ellen Duysen, and Dr. Aaron M. Yoder with the Center for Reducing Health Disparities – University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Public Health conducted a cross-sectional study to explore safety training practices and preferences in the cattle feeding industry.

A survey of feedyard managers, feedyard safety trainers, and feedyard operators (n = 28) found that only half of respondents had dedicated safety personnel; however, there was interest in a safety training program, conducted through short hands-on and in-person methods with materials available in English and Spanish. The majority of participants were also interested in a feedyard safety certification program.

The results of this Phase 1-type translational research study will be used to guide the development of feedyard safety trainings and a corresponding recognition program for feedyards and feedyard workers as part of the “Improving Safety and Health of Cattle Feedyard Workers” project.

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