Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Chandran Achutan, PhD, CIH, Chair

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Lyden, MS, Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Risto Rautiainen, PhD, MS, Preceptor


Agriculture continues to rank as one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. This is in part due to the high number of hazardous exposures that farmers face, including respiratory and hearing exposures. The danger to workers can be reduced by properly wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). However, it has been shown that agricultural workers wear PPE at a low rate, in part due to inconvenience and poor accessibility of the equipment. There is little knowledge currently about how PPE are stored, maintained, and if they are used in a correct manner in specific exposure conditions by the operators. To gain a better understanding of PPE usage an on-farm exposure assessment conducted using a questionnaire. A survey conducted by CS-CASH added to this data by covering potential sources of noise exposures and frequency of PPE use. Finding that farmers do not always know what PPE s appropriate to wear and only wear PPE on 30% of the time. Many farmers noted that not readily available inconveniwere reasons frequen. oise exposures (tractor, combine, air seeder, chainsaw, compressor, grinder, and other) were significant hearing loss. Education of proper PPE use needs to increase among farmers and ranchers to emphasize the importance of PPE and damage if not worn. This will be done through educational outreach programs and continued surveillance programs.