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 HICAHS Newsletter

 

The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS) serves Public Health Service (PHS) Region 8 (Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and the Dakotas), whose agriculture is largely defined by its unique western climate and geography. It is also important to understand the unique combination of characteristics that PHS Region 8 represents including agricultural characteristics of both the Midwest and the West, including differences in production agriculture ranging from the field crops, beef and dairy cattle of the great plains to the orchards and truck farming of the far west. Outreach within in HICAHS involves providing technical assistance, consultation, educational materials, and training activities that engage external constituencies. The HICAHS outreach program has played a crucial role in providing information and tools to promote a safer and healthier work environment in agriculture and proposes to expand its role to include forestry.

Specific Aims

  1. To engage with the network of state, regional, local and community partners who can expand use of educational materials, training programs and evidence based interventions including developing a regional directory of resources;

  2. To establish a regional Dairy Health and Safety Network for dissemination of knowledge and a Dairy Advisory Board to identify and prioritize dairy farm workers health needs, and to identify resources, expertise, and strategies to address these needs ;

  3. To continue to use culturally appropriate educational and training materials related to agricultural and forestry safety and health issues;

  4. To provide information about the National Agricultural Safety Database (NASD) to all regional and international partners to increase awareness about and use of NASD and collaborate to share information from HICAHS activities to be included in NASD.;

  5. To continue to participate in conferences/workshops and to develop conferences/workshops related to agricultural and forestry safety and health issues.

Relevance

A major component of research to practice mandates sharing findings to increase the public health relevance of research programs. The outreach activities within the High Plains Intermoountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety provide a mechanism and specific activties to share informaiton with key stakeholders.

Examples of Outreach Activities from 2007-2012:

  • Consultation was provided to constituents to resolve: 1) Health effects inside a tractor cab from exhaust and 2) Respiratory illness among veterinarians and livestock in a horse barn due to exposure to bioaerosols.

  • HICAHS faculty worked with the Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program, helping to coordinate and support training programs specially targeting monolingual Spanish speaking workers using narrative story telling as a means to reach low literacy workers.

  • Continued coordination with the OSHA Consultation program at CSU to identify needs among agricultural workers.

  • Dr. Reynolds provided assistance to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment responding to an outbreak of E. coli O111 among inmates (18 cases) in a Colorado correctional facility that was associated with their dairy operation. NIOSH Western States Office also partnered on this effort. Infections were mainly seen among food service workers and cell mates of dairy workers, but were traced to the dairy cattle. Dairy facilities, operations, and work practices were reviewed and recommendations provided to prevent animal to human transmission of E. coli O111 in the dairy, and secondary transmission of E. coli from dairy workers to other inmates. Since the conclusion of the intervention the number of infections has been greatly reduced.

  • There has been only one new reported case of STEC O157 infection at the facility (January 2011). This case did not result in transmission to other dairy workers or other locations in the prison. More information can be found in this CDC article.

  • HICAHS faculty worked with Claudia Arrieta and the staff of the Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education

Contact Us:
HICAHS
1681 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681

Phone:
​(970) 491-6152

Fax:
​(970) 491-2940

​(970) 491-2940