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USA Farm Safety Expert to speak at Teagasc Stand at Ploughing Championships

Dr Julie Sorensen a leading international expert on farm health and safety will visit Ireland to exchange knowledge on improving the safety record of the agriculture sector. Dr Sorensen is director of the New York Centre for Agricultural Medicine and Health.

Dr Sorensen will be attending the National Ploughing Championships at Tullamore on Wednesday, 20th September and will give a talk on her recent research at the Teagasc stand (No. 317 Row 14) at 12 o’clock.

Dr Sorensen is a social scientist and obtained her PhD degree in social epidemiology. She is a member of both the American Public Health Association and New York Farm Bureau.

Dr Sorensen’s research has focused on exploring the application of innovative behaviour change strategies to increase safety adoption. Most recently she has examined risk-taking by farmers and found that the stressors and challenges faced by farmers can result in ignoring farm safety measures. Her research indicates that changing the social environment and adopting positive attitudes to farm health and safety are key determinants of reducing injury and ill health. 

Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist, Dr John McNamara stated that Teagasc greatly welcomes the opportunity to exchange knowledge with Dr Sorensen. Improving farm health and safety represents a huge challenge internationally and influencing both farmer behaviour and the work environment are the key strategies necessary for success on any farm safety programme.

The mission of the New York Centre which Dr Sorensen directs is to enhance agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury and illness in New York State. The state has about 35,500 farm holdings with 56, 500 farm workers.

The Centre is also designated by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA as the Northeast Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture - Forestry – Fishing (NEC), one of 10 such centre across the USA.

Follow all that is happening on the Teagasc stand (No. 317 Row 14) on Teagasc twitter and Facebook.