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A look at workplace safety in agriculture

September 25, 2020

The third week of September is National Farm Safety and Health Week. The week is dedicated to preventing illnesses, injuries, and deaths among workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting as the fall harvest approaches.

There were 574 private sector agricultural workers fatally injured on the job in 2018. Transportation incidents resulted in 274 deaths. These include 104 deaths involving land vehicles in nonroadway areas and 94 in roadway areas.

Number of fatal work injuries in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting by event or exposure, private industry, 2018
Event Number of fatal work injuries

Total

574

Transportation incidents

274

Contact with objects and equipment

167

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

50

Falls, slips, trips

35

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

33

All other events and exposures

15

Contact with objects and equipment resulted in 167 deaths. Nontransport powered vehicles struck and killed 56 workers, and 54 workers were fatally struck by falling objects and equipment other than powered vehicles.

Agricultural workers suffered 17,390 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2018 that resulted in days away from work. Nonfatal events or exposures that made workers ill or injured include contact with objects and equipment (5,240 cases), falls, slips, trips (4,870 cases) and overexertion and bodily reaction (3,100 cases).

Number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting by event or exposure, private industry, 2018
Event Number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses

Total

17,390

Contact with objects and equipment

5,240

Falls, slips, trips

4,870

Overexertion and bodily reaction

3,100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

1,860

Transportation incidents

1,330

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

770

All other events and exposures

220

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. BLS will release 2019 data for nonfatal work injuries and illnesses on November 4, 2020, and fatal work injuries on December 16, 2020.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A look at workplace safety in agriculture on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/a-look-at-workplace-safety-in-agriculture.htm (visited October 25, 2020).

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