Abstract of article in the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 5(2):179-189, May 1999

A Community Participation Approach to Farm Health and Safety.* Sharon L. Garratt**

This article describes a community participation approach to farm health and safety concerns raised by rural residents of the Regina Health District. The Agricultural Health and Safety Action Committee was formed with representatives from each rural municipality in the Health District. The committee used a group planning process to set priorities, establish target goals, select strategies, and develop work plans. A need for more information was identified early in the process. This need was met through data collection, participation in a national surveillance project, and by conducting research. Activities in the first year focused on three priorities: chemical hazards, children, and respiratory hazards. The committee raised awareness of chemical hazards by airing two radio spots a total of 110 times on a local radio station. Activities focusing on children included: 10 educational sessions reaching over 625 students, a slogan contest that received 638 entries, and farm safety field trips reaching 112 students. Respiratory hazards were addressed through a display about Hantavirus and respiratory protection that reached at least 1,037 people at a variety of farm shows. An analysis of community participation shows the approach has broad participation measured by five indicators: needs assessment, leadership, organization, resource mobilization, and management. The approach combined community participation and a strong evidence-base, two elements that are necessary for an effective program.

*Presented, in part, at the Fourth International Symposium "Rural Health and Safety in a Changing World" held October 18-22, 1998, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Regina Health District Public Health Services has approved the paper for publication.

**Regina Health District Public Health Services, 2110 Hamilton Street, Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2E3; telephone (306) 766-7725, fax (306) 766-7798, e-mail: sgarratt@reginahealth.sk.ca.

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