From SWAGCenter.org, “NIOSH Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education and Prevention,” March 2011.
Center for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH)
History and Mission
- Established by Congress in 1990 (P.L. 101‐517) in response to evidence that agricultural workers were suffering higher rates of occupational injury and illness than other U.S. workers, even those in other extractive industries.
- An innovative feature of P.L. 101‐517 was the call for NIOSH to establish extramural centers. The legislation specifically charged NIOSH with responsibility to select and fund agricultural occupational safety and health centers at select universities. (NAS 2008)
- Today the NIOSH AFF Initiative includes seven regional Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention and one national center to address children’s farm safety.
- The AFF Program is the only substantive federal effort to meet the obligation to ensure safe working conditions for workers in one of our nation’s largest and most vital production sectors.
While agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) constitute one of the largest industry sectors in the U.S. (DOL 2011), most AFF operations are themselves small: nearly 78 percent employ fewer than 10 workers, and most rely on family members and/or immigrant, part‐time, contract and seasonal labor. Thus, most AFF workers are not covered by federal labor protection laws such as those enforced by OSHA.