Keeping workers safe: Does provision of personal protective equipment match supervisor risk perceptions?

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BackgroundAlthough farm management may understand agriculture's risks, they may not provide personal protective equipment (PPE). This study describes thoroughbred farm management's risk perceptions, provision of PPE, and factors that influence its provision.MethodsThirty-five representatives from 26 farms participated in a 1–4hr semi-structured interview covering perceived risks associated with horse work and perspectives and provision of PPE. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, entered into ATLAS.ti, and analyzed by three coders.ResultsManagement cited horse-related tasks as most dangerous, yet horse-related PPE as least provided because of 1) differences in farm context, 2) the belief that workers were most important agents in their safety, 3) lack of confidence in its effectiveness, and 4) the perception that risk could never be eliminated.ConclusionsPPE provision was limited by management's poor perceptions of its efficacy relative to other factors. Future research should explore workers' perceptions and PPE's effectiveness in averting horse-related injury. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:886–896, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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