OEH News

The latest news from the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Agricultural workers face hazards on the job

A recent study from the UI College of Public of Health found that people who spend long hours operating agricultural vehicles appear more susceptible to muscular or back pain due to vibration. Farmers face many other hazards, including working with large machinery, livestock, and confined spaces. "In Iowa, agriculture tends to be responsible for higher rates of fatal injuries than any other occupation in the state," says Brandi Janssen, director of Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. (Daily Iowan) Published October 18, 2018

Lynch, Robertson, and Thorne honored with university awards

Each year, University of Iowa faculty and staff members are honored for their valuable contributions to the university's core mission of teaching, service, and research. Award recipients from the College of Public Health in 2018 were Charles Lynch (Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service), Gayle Robertson (David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Service), and Peter Thorne (Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence). Published October 16, 2018

Call for abstracts: HEAL health equity summit

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit an abstract for possible poster presentation at the April 4, 2019, Health Equity Advancement Lab (HEAL) Summit at the College of Public Health. Abstracts are due by Nov. 5, 2018. Published October 4, 2018

UI study looks at ag machinery vibration, back pain among farmers

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa College of Public Health examined whole-body vibration exposures during the operation of several types of agricultural machinery. "Exposure to whole-body vibration is a key occupational risk factor for back pain, which is common among agricultural workers," says the study's lead investigator, Nathan Fethke, CPH associate professor of occupational and environmental health. "Spending many hours operating machinery can increase the frequency of back pain episodes and, if the pain is severe or becomes chronic, medical costs can be quite high." Published October 2, 2018

New study hoping to inspire healthier equipment for farmers

A new UI study is determining how much vibration a given farm machine transfers to the driver's body while working. According to research, 9 out of 10 farmers experience back pain during their careers often linked to extended amounts of time spent on the seats of machines. "Whatever we can do to design these problems out before they become potentially disabling for the farmer, that's what we want to do," says Nathan Fethke, CPH associate professor of occupational and environmental health. (KGAN) Published October 2, 2018

2018 MRASH conference meets Nov. 27-30 in Council Bluffs

Registration is now open for the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health (MRASH) Conference to be held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Nov. 27-30. Check out the conference program and registration options online. Published September 19, 2018

Telling the Story Project shares farm safety messages

The Telling the Story Project shares the stories of farmers, agricultural workers, and family and community members who've been impacted by injuries, fatalities, or close calls. "Talking about farm safety makes it normal, and part of farm management, just like the markets or weather or policies are discussed," says Stephanie Leonard, who helped develop the project. "This is just as important, and actually more, when you’re the person who stands to lose time at work from an injury or your life, even." (Multiple sources) Published September 18, 2018

Op-ed: Faith community can help farmers through tough times

Jenna Gibbs, coordinator of the UI Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, co-authored an editorial about the stressors that farmers face and where they turn for help during tough times. A survey found that many rely on their spiritual community for support. (Des Moines Register) Published September 13, 2018

Lunch and learn: Building dissemination into your research

Learn from our partners at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, OH) about their experience getting injury prevention work out of the journals and into the hands of policymakers, corporations, parents, teachers, and coaches. Attend the lunch and learn session on Tuesday, Sept. 25, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in C217 CPHB. Published September 13, 2018

Telling the Story Project helps protect farmers

Brian Egel, who farms near Nichols, Iowa, has suffered numerous injuries working on the farm. To help tell other farmers to pay attention to what they do, Egel shared his story with the Telling the Story Project, a farm safety initiative developed in part by the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health located in the UI College of Public Health. (Iowa Now) Published September 12, 2018

Questions or comments? Contact Dave Asa. This page was last reviewed on May 29, 2014.