Purpose: Farm youth continue to experience high rates of injury and deaths as a result of agricultural activities. Farm machinery, especially tractors, is the most common cause of casualties to youth. A Roll-Over Protection Structure (ROPS) along with a fastened seatbelt can prevent almost all injuries and fatalities from tractor overturns. Despite this knowledge, the use of seatbelts by farmers on ROPS tractors remains low. This study treats farm safety as a family issue and builds on the central role of parents as teachers and role models of farm safety for youth. Methods: This research study used a longitudinal, repeated-measures, randomized-control design in which youth 10-19 years of age were randomly assigned to either of two intervention groups (parent-led group and staff-led group) or the control group. Results: Fathers in the parent-led group were less likely to operate ROPS tractors without a seatbelt compared with other groups. They were more likely to have communicated with youth about the importance of wearing seatbelts on ROPS tractors. Consequently, youth in the parent-led group were less likely to operate a ROPS tractor without a seatbelt than the control group at post-test. Conclusions: This randomized control trial supports the effectiveness of a home-based, father-led farm safety intervention as a promising strategy for reducing youth as well as father-unsafe behaviors (related to tractor seatbelts) on the farm. This intervention appealed to fathers' strong motivation to practice tractor safety for the sake of their youth. Involving fathers helped change both father as well as youth unsafe tractor-seatbelt behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health