Agricultural Accidents in North Carolina: A Descriptive Report

  • Robbins, Richard D.


Very little work has been done on farm accidents in North Carolina. A few studies have been made in other states. Agriculture has been excluded from workmen's compensation in the past, and therefore, few accidents were reported and little information was given about costs. These shortcomings lead to this study on "Farm Accidents in North Carolina". The basic objectives were to determine the size of losses in agriculture, and to determine the risks in agriculture and related industries.

This study was based upon a random sample of five counties selected from across the state by geographic region. One-third of the farmers in the sample counties were surveyed to determine if an accident occurred, when it occurred, how it happened, and the costs involved in the accident.

The results show that just over three percent of the farms in the survey experienced an accident. Most accidents occurred in or near some type of building or structure. The most likely victims of an accident were male, either the husband or the son. The very young (under 20) is especially accident prone.

Costs of agricultural accidents are likely to be higher than non-agricultural accidents. Average costs of agricultural accidents were $300-$400, and likely to be higher. Medical costs averaged $154 and value of time in lieu of compensation, $150-$240. Most injuries did not require hospitalization, only a few required more than five days. Accidents in agriculture and agricultural related industries are more expensive than in non-agricultural industries. The total costs of agricultural and related accidents were $500 and $390 for non-agricultural industries.

As might be expected from the higher costs involved, agriculture experiences more accidents than non-agriculture. The accident rate in agriculture is a best remaining constant while in most other industries, the rates are declining. Only in mining and construction industries are the accident rates higher than in agriculture.

Important implications of this study are as follows: 1) Substantial savings can be made if the accident rate in agriculture could be reduced; 2) Some provisions, public and/or private, may be needed in agriculture to aid accident victims, especially to offset medical costs and compensation; 3) Since agriculture is relatively more dangerous, additional emphasis may need to be placed on safety in agriculture; and 4) Farm owners may wish to insure themselves to protect against loss due to injury


SOURCE: Greensboro, North Carolina: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; 1976. 35.


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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