Safety knowledge, safety behaviors, depression, and injuries in Colorado farm residents

Cheryl L. Beseler, Lorann Stallones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background Changing safety behavior has been the target of injury prevention in the farming community for years but significant reductions in the number of farming injuries have not always followed. This study describes the relationships between safety knowledge, safety behavior, depression, and injuries using 3 years of self-reported data from a cohort of farm residents in Colorado. Methods Farm operators and their spouses (n=652) were recruited in 1993 from a farm truck registration list using stratified probability sampling. Respondents answered ten safety knowledge and ten safety behavior questions. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale was used to evaluate depression. The most severe farm workrelated injury over a 3-year period was the outcome variable. Factor analysis was used to produce a single measure of safety knowledge for logistic regression models to evaluate the relationships between injuries, safety knowledge, and behaviors. Results Safety knowledge was significantly associated with wearing personal protective equipment. None of the safety behaviors were significantly associated with injuries. In the presence of depression, low safety knowledge increased the probability of injury (OR 3.87, 95% CI 1.00-15.0) in models adjusted for age, sex, hours worked per week, and financial problems. Compared to those not depressed, those depressed with a low safety score showed significantly greater risk of injury than those depressed with a high score in adjusted models (OR 3.09, CI 1.31-7.29 vs. OR 0.86, CI 0.31-2.37). Conclusions Future work on injuries in the farming community should include measures of mood disorders and interactions with safety perceptions and knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Depression
  • Farm injuries
  • Farm residents
  • Safety behaviors
  • Safety knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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