Fatal Farm Accidents in Wisconsin, 1971 to 1975


  • Almost forty percent of all work accident fatalities occurred on Wisconsin farms, although only a small proportion of the working population is employed in agriculture (six percent in 1970).
  • During the five-year period 1971-1975 there were an average of 87 farm accidents per year with an estimated 100 disabling injuries for each fatality.
  • The number of Wisconsin farms continually decreased from 1950 (174, 000 farms) to 110,000 in 1970 and 104,000 in 1975. The average acreage per farm increased from 136 to 188 acres in the same period.
  • The farm accident rate rose to 21.5 per 100,000 farm population in 1971-1975; from 19.7 in 1968-1970.
  • Farm accident fatality rates are highest among those over 65 (56.6) with the 15-24 age group second (22.2). Rates are similar for the 25- 44 (18.3) and the 45-64 age groups (18.7). The rate for children under 15 is slightly lower at 16.3 per 100,000.
  • Almost 80 percent of the accident fatalities on Wisconsin farms during this period were farm residents.
  • Five out of eight farm accident victims were working at the time of injury.
  • Almost forty percent of the farm accident fatalities were tractor accidents; other machinery caused 18.5 percent and falls 10 percent.
  • Among children under 15, a third of the 100 fatalities in the five- year period were due to tractor accidents and 28 percent involved other machinery.
  • June had the highest number of accidents with 13.8 percent of the total and October next with 12.6 percent. These are the months when hay and corn harvest are at their peak.
  • Almost seventy percent of all fatalities died within an hour of the injury; less than ten percent survived more than one week.


SOURCE: Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health; 1977. 27.


This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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