Analysis of 151 Agricultural Driveline-Related Incidents Resulting in Fatal and Non-Fatal Injuries to U.S. Children and Adolescents under Age 18 from 1970 through 2004

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Field, William E.;
  • Beer, Shane R.;
  • Deboy, Gail R.


Agricultural driveline-related incidents have been identified as an important cause of farm-related injury resulting in death and permanently disabling conditions to children and adolescents. A database of driveline-related injuries, including both PTO drivelines and secondary shafts and drivelines on agricultural equipment, developed at Purdue University was mined to identify all cases involving children and adolescents under age 18 who had been involved in a driveline-related incident from 1970 through 2004. Although these incidents did not account for a high percentage of all childhood farm-related injuries, this age group was found to make up nearly one in four documented agricultural driveline incidents. Of the 685 cases in the database with known ages, 151 were identified as youth under age 18. Findings indicated that these incidents often resulted in catastrophic injuries including amputation, spinal cord injuries, and compound bone fractures. Over the period studied, the trend in documented cases is declining, with recent years reporting below the yearly average and 2004 reporting no fatalities. Youth, primarily males, age 13 had the highest frequency of incidents, and over 50% of all cases occurred to youth ages 12 to 17. Fall was identified as the season with the most reported incidents. Amputations were documented in nearly 50% of all cases, and augers, elevators, and conveyors were the machines most frequently identified as being involved in the incident. Recommendations and strategies that specifically target the childhood injury problem related to agricultural drivelines are provided.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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