Spinal Cord Injury in the Australian Agricultural Work Force

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Young, Amanda E.


While it has long been recognized that working in the agricultural industries is associated with an exacerbated risk of injury, the extent of the additional risk is not well understood. This current research investigated the incidence and prevalence of spinal cord injury (SCI) in a defined population and calculated the additional risk of suffering a SCI associated with working in the agricultural industries as well as the additional risk associated with suffering a SCI that is work-related. Through the analysis of all new traumatic spinal cord injuries between 1990 and 1996 in southeastern Australia, it was found that those working in the agricultural industry were at more than six times greater risk of suffering a SCI than were the remainder of the population. When agricultural workers' risk of SCI was compared with the risk of those employed in other industries, it was found that they were at approximately five times greater risk. Further, agricultural workers' odds of suffering work-related SCI was more than twice that of those who worked in industries other than agriculture. Based on these findings, it was concluded that those employed in the agricultural industries are not only a group in need of primary intervention services, but they are also in need of secondary and tertiary interventions to allow them to return to a productive life following injury.

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