Risk Assessment and Recommendations for Forester Exposure to Hymenoptera

Danielle Dillane, Stephanie L. Richards, Jo Anne G. Balanay, Ricky Langley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Ants, bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets (insects in Order Hymenoptera) are potentially a serious concern to outdoor workers, as the venom from their stings can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. This study assessed the impacts of Hymenoptera stings and related worker training regimes of forestry workers across the United States (US). Methods: A survey was distributed to nearly 2,000 outdoor workers in the forestry industry from four US regions (South, West, Northeast, and Midwest). Results: Ants are a primary concern in the South, with >75% of participants reporting ant stings within the last 5 years. Bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets are a concern for surveyed foresters in all US regions, with 60–70% and 75–93% of participants, respectively, having been stung by bees or hornets/wasps/yellow jackets within the last 5 years. Despite such a large number of participants experiencing stings, nearly 75% of participants were not concerned about being stung or their reaction to stings. Approximately, 70% of participants reported not having received any safety training related to Hymenoptera from their employers. Conclusion: No significant difference was shown in the number of foresters stung at work between safety trained and non-safety trained participants. However, it was significantly more likely for participants to carry a first aid kit if they had received Hymenoptera safety training. Consequently, more comprehensive and frequent training should be considered to help reduce risk of exposure to Hymenoptera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Sting
  • forester
  • injury
  • occupational health
  • outdoor worker

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