Dr. Cynthia Curl recently attended the North American Agricultural Safety Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona to present findings from her project, “Recognizing and Reducing Safety Hazards in Northwest Potato Production.” The summit was hosted by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America, to connect farmers, farmworkers, safety professionals, and academics. The conference aimed to create and communicate best practices to address agricultural safety issues across various sectors of the industry.
Dr. Curl’s presentation focused on hazard prevention within potato production — a vital part of the agricultural industry in Idaho and in the larger Pacific Northwest. In collaboration with Dr. Karin Adams, she worked with the Idaho and Washington State Potato Commissions to survey potato growers regarding their perceptions of the frequency and severity of injuries associated with various potato production tasks and operations. Growers primarily reported concerns with activities requiring bending, twisting and lifting, as well as falls, as the most frequent causes of injury. Ultimately, the results of this research will lead to the development of health and safety interventions for potato production.