UTHealth researchers awarded grants to study safety in logging and dairy farming

Douphrate, Gimeno and Pompeii

Researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio Regional Campus and the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health recently received grants to study safety in logging and dairy farming. The School of Public Health is part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The first project is a three-year National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) U-grant titled, “Development of Safety Management and Leadership Training for Logging Contractors.” David I. Douphrate, Ph.D., assistant professor of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health has partnered with Vanessa Casanova, assistant professor at the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. Douphrate will serve as co-principal investigator for the study.

The research for this study will focus on logging operations in the Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas logging region. The goal of the proposed project is to reduce or eliminate injuries and fatalities among logging workers through the development of a safety management and leadership training program for logging contractors.

The second project is a one-year OSHA Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant titled, “Safety Training For Large-Herd Dairy Workers Using an Innovative Mobile-Learning Platform.” Douphrate will be working as the principal investigator with Dr. Robert Hagevoort, associate professor and extension dairy specialist at New Mexico State University, in the development and delivery of this project.

The project involves the development of safety vignettes and their deployment on mobile devices to managers and workers on large-herd dairy operations in the Texas-New Mexico milkshed.  The utilization of mobile-learning technologies will enhance training effectiveness among low-literacy, minority workers with limited English proficiency.  Additionally, an online Dairy Farm Safety Toolkit will be developed for dairy owners and managers to access safety information.

For the studies, Douphrate is collaborating with UTHealth School of Public Health faculty members David Gimeno, Ph.D., (logging study) and Lisa Pompeii, Ph.D. (both logging and dairy farming).