related injury rate in farm household youth decreased from 14.1 to 9.1 injuries per 1,000 working household youth from 1998 to 2004.

After the release of a proposed OSHA logging standard in 1989, the national occupational injury and illness rate in the logging industry decreased from 19.5 to 6.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2003. NIOSH also played a lead role in developing the Alaska Working Group’s July 1993 recommendations to prevent helicopter logging crashes. Since that time, there has been only one helicopter logging crash in Alaska (it occurred in 1996).

Although it is recognized that the work-related fatality rate in commercial fishing in Alaska remains unacceptably high, historical data show that fatalities are decreasing. NIOSH reports that since 1990 there has been a 74 percent decline in annual deaths in Alaska’s commercial fishermen. Extensive collaboration with U.S. Coast Guard and numerous other partners in Alaska to implement new safety requirements probably contributed substantially to the 96 percent survival rate of commercial fishermen involved in vessel sinkings and capsizings in 2004; the survival rate was only 73 percent in 1991.

NIOSH also reports that a pilot eye injury prevention project funded by the AFF Program in Florida helped to reduce eye injuries (by 75 percent) in 500 workers from 2003 to now. The project also found that the rate of acceptance of safety glasses increased to 65-75 percent from 5 percent before intervention.

Those end outcomes are only a sample of the outcomes attributed to AFF Program intervention research.

EXTERNAL FACTORS

Programs engaged in intervention research have described various external factors relevant to the AFF sector. These external factors include: the seasonality of work tasks which often provides only short windows of time for data collection; multiple years that are needed to demonstrate effective intervention results; weather variations that influence activities across years; and workers that are willing to take risks and lack awareness of the preventability of illnesses and injuries. Other variables include: rapid changes in the work practices under study; time needed to build relationships with partners and constituents; market conditions; current political climate and uncertainty regarding immigration issues; and a poor national and political understanding of the scope of and costs related to occupational disease and public health.



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