Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Evaluating Agricultural Workplace Assistive Technology for Secondary Injury Hazards ( An Assessment Tool for Professionals to Assist Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Workers with Disabilities ). Pre-conference workshop, National AgrAbility Training 2010, October 11, 2010
Evaluating Agricultural Workplace Assistive Technology for Secondary Injury Hazards(An Assessment Tool for Professionals to Assist Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Workers with Disabilities) Pre-conference workshop, National AgrAbility Training 2010, October 11, 2010 Charleston, West Virginia Presented by William E. Field & Samuel N. Mathew This resource is developed as a part of the NIFA/USDA National AgrAbility Project Grant no. CSREES/USDA-2008-41590-04796
Workshop Objectives At the end of session, the attendee will be able to: • Explain the reasons for higher workplace injuries in agriculture compared to other industries. • Explain the primary causes of agricultural workplace injuries. • Explain what is meant by secondary injuries • Explain how disabilities increase the risk of injury, especially in agricultural workplace
Workshop Objectives • Explain why safety assessment of AT for farmers with disabilities will result in successful vocational rehabilitation funding. • Identify critical hazards on AT used in agricultural workplaces • Conduct a basic safety assessment of AT used in agricultural workplace
Definition of Assistive Technology • Assistive Technology (AT) means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of an individual with a disability - ‘The Tech Act” (Technology-Related Assistance for individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988)
Examples of Assistive Technology in Agricultural Workplace • Person lifts • Added steps • Hand controls • Modified tools • Ramps
Definition of Secondary Injury • Secondary injury can be defined as injury caused by limitations associated with disabling conditions and/or resulting from the use of modified practices or AT to compensate for disabling conditions.
Examples of Secondary Injury • Burns • Fractures • Pressure sores • Amputation • Loss of hearing
Background • Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations among American industries • Working alone • Diverse hazards (fire, chemicals etc.) • Age of worker (young/old) • Repetitive motion • Unpredictable environment • Diverse terrain • Lack of workplace safety regulations
Background • Estimated number of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers with disabilities appears to range from 1.14 million to 2.23 million individuals (Deboy et al., 2008)
The Need • Physical and mental disabling conditions can increase the potential of injuries for farmers who continue to perform tasks • Studies indicate that > 72% of farmers with disabilities fabricate their own AT to continue to perform tasks • Both commercial and home-fabricated AT can cause injuries (Allen et al., 1995; Willkomm, 2004)
The Need • Currently there are no comprehensive safety guidelines or regulations for farmers who fabricate AT • Currently, rehabilitation professionals and funding agencies like ‘VR’ do not have a validated assessment process to • assess suitability of AT • evaluate safety of home-fabricated AT • satisfy their procedural requirements for providing funding
Prior Reports/Research Tormoehlen, R. L., & Field, W. E. (1983). Plowshares #1. Special Breaking New Ground technical report: Potential health and safety risks of farming with physical handicaps. West Lafayette, IN: Breaking New Ground Resource Center, Purdue University. Allen, P. B., Field, W. E., & Frick, M. J. (1995). Assessment of work-related injury risk for farmers and ranchers with physical disabilities. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 1(2), 71-81. Willkomm, T. (1997). Risks in using modified tractors by operators with spinal cord injuries and their co-workers. (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1997), Dissertations and Theses (PQDT).
Prior Reports/Research Gruver, M.L., Allen, P.B., Field, W. E., & Schweitzer, J. (1997). Plowshares #27. Special Breaking New Ground technical report: Potential health and safety risks of farming/ranching with a disability. West Lafayette, IN: Breaking New Ground Resource Center, Purdue University. Yoder, A. M. (2002). Ergonomic evaluation of commercially available operator lifts for farmers with disabilities. (Doctoral dissertation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2002), ETD Collection for Purdue University.
Prior Reports/Research Breaking New Ground. (2005). Conducting agricultural worksite assessments: A user's guide for professionals assisting farmers & ranchers with physical disabilities (3rd ed.). West Lafayette, IN: Breaking New Ground Resource Center, Purdue University. Kelso, S. A., & Mann, D. D. (2005). Assistive technology adaptations for farmers with physical disabilities Paper presented at the CSAE-SCGR 2005 Annual Meeting.
Prior Reports/Research Kelso, S. A., Stangherlin, A. M., & Mann, D. D. (2008). Evaluation of mechanical tractor pedal extensions. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 14(4), 431-439. Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service. (2008). Assistive technology program for farmers with disabilities: State and regional AgrAbility projects. Retrieved August 20, 2009. from http://www.csrees.usda. gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/08_agrability.pdf.
The Problem • Most AT used by farmers is locally made and may not comply with current engineering, regulatory or safe workplace standards
Assessment Tool Objectives • Building on work previously done for the agricultural workpace – “Conducting an Agricultural Worksite Assessment” • AgrAbility professionals should strive to ensure that whatever they recommend will result in NO HARM to the client
Assessment Tool - Objectives • Provide an evaluation method for funding agencies to reasonably estimate the safety of home-fabricated AT • Training tool for rehabilitation professionals to assess AT used by farmers with disabilities • Prevention of secondary injuries
Assessment Tool - Objectives • Help the assessor to identify potential for injury to the user • The assessor can provide suggestions for preventive /corrective measures to avoid or minimize risk of injury
Development Process • Case Studies of farmers • Inputs from professionals who serve farmers’ with disabilities having AT needs • Development of prototype assessment tool • Content validation by expert panel
Forms of Assistive Technology • Commercially available • Modifications to commercially available AT • Home-fabricated AT
Common AT Used by Farmers with Disabilities • Designed by self or friends and family • Fabricated by self or local craftsmen • Specific devices custom-built for a purpose or modifications to standard equipment • Both power- or manual- operated • Most complex ones are lifts of various kinds to access farm equipment operator seat
Contents of Assessment Tool • Section I – Introduction • Section II – Steps in Assessment Process • Section III - Reference sheets • w/Descriptions and Pictures • Section IV – Assessment Example with all Worksheets filled • Section V Copy ready assessment sheets (Worksheets A to F)
Contents (…contd) • Worksheet A Client & Disability Information • Worksheet B AT Information • Worksheet C Quick Reference sheet • Worksheet D Assessment Questions • Worksheet E Problems Observed/Solutions • Worksheet F Results & Recommendations
Practice Time • Open your packet to Section I page I-1 • Familiarize with • Section descriptions at bottom of page I-1 • The purpose of the tool Page I-1 • Who should use the tool & why Page I-2 • Component description (Worksheets) Page I-2 • Computer program to enter data & print report Page I-3 • Recommended toolkit page I-4
Pause for Questions • Questions on Section I?
How to Use the Assessment Tool? • Conversation with the client • Establish personal rapport • Understand client’s disabilities and strengths • Obtain & fill client information in worksheet A • Obtain & fill AT information in worksheet B • Observe operation of the AT /Examine AT • Read Quick Reference worksheet C and check mark (X) the items to be assessed. (Note: If in doubt, check the item)
How to Use the Assessment Tool? • Take pictures of AT where ever required • Refer to Section III as often as required • Systematically check items and answer questions in Worksheet D • Prepare Worksheet E based on Worksheet D • Discuss, the observations and possible solution suggestions with the client • Prepare Worksheet F based on Worksheet E
Computer Program • Start the program and enter all the items in Worksheet A,B,D and fill in Worksheet F. • Upload pictures simultaneously. Before uploading mark/highlight pictures, if needed • Save file in an appropriate directory with appropriate ‘filename’ and exit program • Open ‘filename.html’ in browser and print report that contains Worksheet A,B,D and F
Practice Time • Turn to Section II on page II-1 • Review the sub-sections • Before the Evaluation • During the Evaluation • After the Evaluation • Turn to Section IV on page IV-1. Familiarize with Worksheet A and B • Demonstration of Computer Program: observe data being entered on screen in Worksheet A and B
Pause for Questions • Questions on : • Section II ? • Worksheet A or B? • Computer Program?