There has been no comprehensive data system to identify the magnitude of the injury problem in the rural farming community or the potential risk factors that may be associated with this problem. Serious discrepancies among the existing data sources, pertinent to occupational morbidity and mortality, limit identification of the true magnitude of the problem. Based on a recent National Academy of Sciences report, it has been documented that fatal as well as non-fatal occupationally-related injuries have been greatly undercounted. In part, these discrepancies in mortality and morbidity data are due to variations in definitions, the worker populations included, methods of case ascertainment, and the data sources utilized.
Fatality rates, identified for agriculture, have ranked among the highest for many years. However, given the overall discrepancies among the data systems and the reporting limitations for agriculture, these would appear to be extremely conservative estimates. A major barrier to progress in the prevention of agricultural injuries has not only been a lack of knowledge about the magnitude of the problem but also a lack of knowledge about specific causes or risk factors due to the lack of analytical studies. This paper includes an historical perspective of surveillance and its importance to the problem of injuries in the agricultural community. Special emphasis is placed upon the data sources and methodological approaches that have been used in agricultural surveillance, including advantages and limitations.
Among the agricultural injury surveillance efforts that will be discussed, are two major population-based efforts, conducted by a multidisciplinary team, using a methodology that can also serve as a model for long term surveillance efforts at the state, regional and national levels. These efforts are the Olmsted Agricultural Trauma Study (OATS) and the Regional Rural Injury Study (RRIS):
SOURCE AND NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE ID#
SOURCE: 1991. n.p.
NLOM ID#: No ID#.
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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