Dairy farm worker safety expert provides proactive advice at Dairy Federation meeting
by Pete Delaunay, Delaunay Communications
David Douphrate Ph.D., MPT, MBA, a nationally-recognized authority on worker health and safety on dairy farms, encouraged more than 200 attendees, at the Washington Dairy Federation’s Safety Conference and Annual meeting, to demonstrate a commitment to farm worker safety by moving beyond the ‘checkbox’.
Dr. Douphrate said safety management components are driven by the owner/manager’s commitment to workplace safety. “Hazard identification and control, education and training, and worker participation are key elements in a farm’s written safety policies and programs,” he said. “With a focus on prevention and employee participation, safety training is effective when it is administered in both a language and vocabulary that workers can understand, which is vital given that the current dairy labor force is mostly comprised of non-English speaking workers.”
An Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health, Dr. Douphrate has focused on dairy farm worker safety for more than 13 years.
“Proactive injury prevention using a safety management blue print enables workers to perform their jobs in safe and effective ways in safe working environments,” he says. “Continuous leadership with a well-structured plan and evaluation system will help prevent injuries but should be evaluated on a regular basis for effectiveness.”
During two presentations and one break-out session, Dr. Douphrate offered four levels of effective training: reaction, or feedback from workers; retention, or how much did they learn; behavior change, or how workers help identify hazards so they can be fixed; and results or a reduction in injuries.
Several experts from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and Washington Farm Bureau led breakout sessions including lagoon safety, online safety resources, cost saving safety inspections, main hazards & compliance, workplace safety policies, delivery of safety training, nutrient balance and nutrient record keeping.
Department of Labor & Industries staff were on hand at the trade show to answer questions and information for required ‘Accident Prevention Program’. They also distributed information about manure storage dangers, large animal handling, machinery and equipment, and a safety checklist that dairy farms can use to identify hazards and steps to correct them.
The 2016 Washington Dairy Safety Conference, Annual Meeting & Trade Show was made possible by the following sponsors: Dairy Farmers of Washington, Washington Department of Labor & Industries, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bayer, NW Dairy Association, Washington Farm Bureau, Ag-Health Laboratories, Animal Health International, CIH Margin Management, Larson Gross CPS/Consultants, PayneWest Insurance, Regenis, NW Farm Credit Services, Toppenish Livestock Commission, Vaughn, and Zoetis. Bronze sponsors included Agri King, Albers, AllWest Select Sires, Allflex USA, Alltech, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHR-Hansen, CCTV CameraScan, Clifton Larson Allen, Ds Beef Packers, Dairy Records Management Systems, Daritech, Datamars, DeLaval Dairy Services, KHI Provo EZ Fed, Diamond V, High Desert Dairy Lab, INNNVAC, NC Machinery, NW Linings & Geotextile Products, G@ Waste Management, FWO, Land View, Multimin USA/Lactipro, Pacific NW Agricultural Safety & Health, Port of Grandview, Rabo AgriFinance, Schabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Seley & Co, Semex, Simplot Western Stockmen’s, USDA Nat’l Statistics Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, Viterra Pacific Coast Canola, WSDA Animal Services, Washington Beef Commission, Washington State Hay Growers Assn. and Washington State University Extension.