Farmers Needed for On-Farm PPE Research with Benefits

Farmers Needed for On-Farm PPE Research with Benefits

UNMC PPE research on farm
Figure 1. Associate Professor Chandran Achutan from the UNMC College for Public Health works with a Nebraska farmer to fit protective ear wear.

Could you be doing more to protect your health and the health of family and employees working on the farm?

Find out by participating in a research study being offered by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The UNMC College of Public Health is studying how farmers use personal protective equipment (PPE) like earplugs, earmuffs, dust masks, safety glasses, and gloves in their agricultural operations. For participating, you will receive free PPE and monetary compensation for your time. Participants need to be 19 years or older. When results are reported, individual farms will not be identified.

Here’s what the study will entail:

  • Researchers will ask you about their current PPE use, including what PPE you have, how your PPE are maintained, and your perceptions about each type (earplugs, earmuffs, dust masks, safety glasses, and gloves).
  • They will perform a walkthrough of your farm to identify potential hazard sources that may lead to respiratory, hearing or other health problems and will measure your exposure to dust and noise.
  • They may install a small box with personal protective equipment where needed on the farm and will provide information on how to use it.
  • During the four-year study researchers will contact you once every three months to inquire about your use of PPE and will visit the farm twice a year at a time convenient to you.
  • During the visit they will replenish the PPE.
PPE holder installed on farm
Participants will receive free personal protective equipment in boxes which will be installed at convenient-to-use locations on the farm.

Farmers naturally work in noisy and often dusty conditions that can create long-term respiratory and hearing problems or contribute to related diseases. Taking time to review your use of PPE with researchers can benefit the health of you and your family as well as the larger agricultural community by providing information to researchers.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact Chandran Achutan at 402-559-8599 or email