Accidents in Agriculture: A Survey of Their Causes and Prevention

  • Hoff, Paul R.


A total of 223 farms or 12 percent of those cooperating in the survey reported 248 accidents. Of these, one farm reported four accidents, two farms reported three accidents, 23 farms reported two accidents each and the remainder reported one accident each.

Employees are more likely to be involved in accidents than are farm family members. The rate for employees was 25.6 accidents for each 100,000 work days; the rate for family members was 15.6 accidents per 100,000 work days.

Employees on dairy farms had the highest accident had the highest accident rate, 35.7 accidents per 100,000 work days. By contrast, the rate for family members on dairy farms was one of the lowest, 14.8 accidents per 100,000 work days.

By age groups, family members under 15 and males employees under 16 had the highest accident rate. No accidents were reported for females employees under 16.

The accident rate for males was higher than for females. For family members, the accident rate for males was 17 accidents per 100,000 work days: for females, 9.5. For male employees, the rate was 28 and for female employees the rate was 23.4 accidents per 100,000 work days.

Fifty percent of the reported accidents occurred between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and 42 percent occurred between 6:00 a.m. and noon. The highest rates per hour were 14.5 percent between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and 11.7 percent between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The lowest number of accidents on any single day occurred on Tuesday, 8.8 percent of the total, climbing to 18.1 percent on Saturday.

The accident rate on farms where the manager had no outside employment was lower for all workers, 17.6 accidents per 100,000 work days, than it was on farms where the manager worked off the farm 20 hours or more per week. On the farms where the manager had off farm employment, the accident rate was 22.6 accidents per 100,000 work days.

Thirty accidents involved cows, the largest single group of accidents. Tractors were second, with 21 reported accidents.

The accident frequency for tractors was low, 0.8 accidents per 100,000 hours of operation.

Falls accounted for approximately 25 percent of the reported accidents. "Caught in" machinery accounted for another 25 percent.

Haste and poor judgement undoubtedly contributed to many of the accidents. The text contains analyses of several groups of accidents and suggestions for measures that might have prevented at least some of them.


SOURCE: Ithaca, New York: Cornell University; 1970. 11.


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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