Attitudes and Behaviours of Casual and Permanent Staff towards Hygiene Practises and Personal Protective Equipment Procedures at a Community Farm
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Each year community farms are visited by millions of members of the public who will come into contact with farm animals carrying micro-organisms that are harmful to human health. Public health organisations acknowledge that visits to farms are hazardous as there have been a number of reported cases of serious public illness originating from human contact with farms. The aim of the research study was to establish whether there was a difference in the views and attitudes of permanent and casual farm staff regarding the importance of hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE). This approach was taken due to farm staff having the most contact with farm animals and therefore are a potential vehicle of transport for zoonotic diseases. Staff competence is essential in risk managing and preventing the spread of harmful micro-organisms. In addition, according to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), staff can develop bad habits and their skills may decline over time. The study was conducted at one community farm with only permanent and casual were included in the study. The study was conducted using a qualitative study design in the form of mini focus groups. This approach was chosen as focus groups are a robust way of capturing opinions, ideas, perceptions, and experiences. Staff self-selected to participate in the study and were of different ages and levels of experience. Participants attended two separate focus groups with four participants per group. Study findings appear to indicate that any differences recognised by permanent and casual staff may be due to permanent staff working at the farm more frequently and as a result recognise areas for improvement. Furthermore, study results suggest the attitudes and behaviours of casual staff, when compared to responses received from permanent staff, do not indicate any significant differences in regards to hygiene and PPE.
BSc (Hons) Environmental Health
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