and targeting of new research areas, to identify emerging research issues, and to provide advice on ways the program might be strengthened.
Although responsibility for controlling workplace exposure to agricultural, forestry, and fishing safety and health hazards lies with others, the AFF Program can be expected to contribute to efforts to reduce the effects of these workplace hazards through its research and information dissemination. Taking into account several important factors beyond the program’s control, the committee found that from 1990-2006 (the period covered by this review), the AFF Program has made meaningful contributions to improving worker safety and health in agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
Using a five-point scoring scale (where 5 is highest), the committee converted its assessment of the relevance of AFF Program research into a score of 4 because research has been in high-priority and priority research areas, and research has resulted in some successful transfer activities. The committee arrived at this score after considerable deliberation: research carried out in some subprograms was more relevant than in others, and the program has been somewhat engaged in transfer activities, but not always the most appropriate. Had the committee been given the option of providing non-integer scores, the score for program relevance most likely would have been between 3 and 4. In addition, there was little evidence that the research activities, outputs, and intermediate outcomes contributed to the stated end outcomes of reducing workplace injury and illness. For this reason, the committee assigned the research program a score of 3 for impact, indicating that research program activities are ongoing and outputs are produced, which are likely to produce improvements in worker safety and health.
To enhance the relevance and impact of its work and fulfill its stated mission of providing national and world leadership to reduce workplace hazards through a focused program of research and prevention, the AFF Program should foster effective leadership to create a cohesive program, establish strategic goals, implement a comprehensive surveillance system that identifies and tracks worker populations at risk, engage stakeholders for input on research priorities, develop new approaches for technology and information dissemination, and incorporate current national developments in its targeting of new and emerging research areas.
The committee was charged with reviewing the AFF Program, evaluating the relevance of its work to improvements in occupational safety and health, and evaluating its impact on reducing workplace illnesses and injuries. As suggested in the statement of task, the committee’s review was guided by the Framework Document