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Farm safety focus - tackling agricultural hazards


Tractor overturns account for 45% of all machinery-related incidents in North America, signaling a critical safety crisis in the agricultural sector.  

This alarming statistic comes from two comprehensive studies by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which systematically reviewed academic literature on agricultural injuries both in the U.S.  and globally, covering data from 1985 to 2022. 

Agriculture is known for its hazardous working conditions, contributing to one of the highest rates of workplace injuries and fatalities. The studies underscore the absence of a centralized injury reporting system, complicating efforts to gather a complete picture of the risks involved.  

Salah Issa, assistant professor and Illinois Extension specialist, points out the challenge in tracking injuries due to the exemption of many farms from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reporting requirements, typically because they employ fewer than 10 full-time workers. 

In the U.S.  and Canada, the researchers examined 48 academic papers, identifying vehicles, machinery, slips, trips, animals, chemicals, and tools as significant injury sources.  

Men were found to be over twice as likely as women to suffer injuries, with the age of victims varying by surveillance method. 

Expanding the scope to include 69 articles from 17 countries, the global review emphasized the role of tractors and farm equipment in both fatal and non-fatal injuries.  

While animal-related injuries accounted for a minor percentage in North America and Europe, they represented a more significant threat in Asia, reflecting the less automated nature of farming in that region.  

This research not only confirms the dangerous nature of agricultural work globally but also highlights the importance of diverse injury surveillance methods to capture a full scope of the issue.   

The findings call for enhanced educational programs and safety interventions to protect workers in this essential industry, ultimately aiming to reduce the high rates of injuries and fatalities. 

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Mental Health Support Through Raising Hope — You're Not Alone

Video: Mental Health Support Through Raising Hope - You're Not Alone

It's okay to talk about stress and seek help. Listen to Cheryl Dean-Witt, Ag Nurse-RN at the University of Kentucky, as she discusses the Raising Hope organization.

Also watch as Dale Dobson, Safety Administrator with the KY Department of Ag, presents a Raising Hope coin to a local firefighter who is trained in grain bin rescue.

For free and confidential emotional support, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 24/7.