246032 Guidelines for children's work in agriculture

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:45 AM

Barbara Marlenga, PhD , National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI
Barbara C. Lee, PhD , National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI
William Pickett, PhD , Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
Background and Objectives: The North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) are a safety resource to assist farm parents in assigning developmentally appropriate work for their children aged 7-16 years. NAGCAT were released in 1999 and since that time a growing body of scientific evidence has accumulated. This paper will assess programmatic and scientific evidence regarding NAGCAT and provide recommendations for research, policy, and programs for the next 10 years.

Methods: Programmatic evidence is being gathered from agricultural safety practitioners and a comprehensive synthesis of the peer-reviewed literature is being conducted.

Results: The NAGCAT resource has been used and modified in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, and the Philippines. More recently, at the request of agricultural employers, a version of NAGCAT were produced that included U.S. child labor regulations and employers' responsibilities. Research results reveal parents' use of NAGCAT improves if dissemination is accompanied by a farm visit from a safety specialist or if child development principles are provided along with the guidelines. In a review of injury cases, 70% to 80% of the most serious work-related injuries could have been prevented if NAGCAT had been applied. Anthropometric and ergonomic analyses of children's physical ability to operate tractors provide empirical evidence to support a higher age limit for tractor operations, higher than the ages currently recommended in NAGCAT.

Conclusion: Future priorities include the need to update the tractor operations guidelines in order to optimize the potential effectiveness of NAGCAT for preventing agricultural work-related injuries to children.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe applications of the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) and their evolution since 1999. 2) Assess scientific evidence regarding the efficacy and utility of the NAGCAT resource.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Youth at Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have an established research program in childhood agricultural injury prevention and have conducted research examining both the content and dissemination strategies for the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.