Development of a Data Collection System for Farm-related Accidents Resulting in Injury

  • Purschwitz, Mark A.


Farm accidents, and the injuries they cause, are a serious problem in the United States; agriculture has the highest work death rate of all industries. However, because of the lack of reporting requirements for such accidents, there is no primary, up-to-date source of farm accident data to guide prevention efforts. The purpose of this research was to identify, summarize, and evaluate existing accident data systems and sources, to identify the essential farm accident data elements to be collected, to identify potential sources of such data, and to develop a procedure for collecting and managing such data.

Existing sources of farm accident data, as well as numerous occupational and non-occupational accident data systems, were investigated. Death certificates and newspaper clippings were found to be important existing sources, but were not without deficiencies. Other data systems collect farm accident data in various forms, but selection criteria such as age, relationship of farm work to the person's occupation, or number of employees on the farm result in limitations in the data collected.

Extension agricultural safety specialists and other working in farm safety were surveyed on data collection and management. The type of accident, and agent involved, were the most highly desired data elements. A method for obtaining specific farm accident reports from coroners and law enforcement agencies was developed, to supplement death certificate data. A volunteer newspaper clipping service was organized to provide newspaper clippings. Hospital emergency department reporting was investigated and a simple post card reporting system proposed.

A personal computer database application program for farm accident data was developed which requires no knowledge of the database software by the user. The program was designed to allow flexibility in future modifications, and to allow further development by applications programmers to maximize user reporting options.


SOURCE: West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University; 1989. 352.


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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