Fatal Farm Accidents: Wisconsin, 1981-1983

  • Krantz, Fred


  • The number of Wisconsin farms continually decreased from 174,000 in 1950 to 110,000 in 1970 to 100,000 in 1975 and an estimated 88,000 in 1983. The average acreage per farm increased from 136 to 207 acres in the same period. In recent years, the number of tractors per farm has remained nearly constant. (Table 1)
  • After a slow but steady rise in fatal farm accident rates for two decades, the data for 1981-1983 show a small decrease in the rate. During the three-year period 1981-1983 there were an average of 60 fatal farm accidents per year. (Table 2)
  • Fatality rates continue to be highest among those age 65 and over. The rate being more than twice the state rate. (Table 3)
  • Forty-seven percent of the farm fatalities were from machinery related injuries. Tractors account for a large proportion of these deaths. Falls accounted for eight percent of the deaths and motor vehicle injuries another eight percent. (Table 4)
  • Among children under age 15 a third of the 31 fatalities in the three-year period were due to tractor accidents and a quarter involved other machinery. (Table 5)
  • The highest number of injury fatalities occurred in July with 16.9 percent of the total. October is next with 12.4 percent. Hay and grain are harvested in July and the peak of corn harvest is usually in October. (Table 9)
  • Almost 73 percent of injury victims die within an hour of injury; less than seven percent survived more than a week. (Table 11)
  • Eighty-three percent of the fatal farm accidents occurred among residents of the 1,268 civil towns in Wisconsin. (Table 12)
  • Among farmers and farm laborers, 73 percent were "at work" at the time of the accident. (Table 13)
  • Eighteen counties reported no fatal farm accidents during the period 1981-1983. Twenty-three counties averaged less then one death per year. Eight counties had 32 percent (57 or 180) of the deaths during this period. These were Clark, Dane, Green, LaCrosse, Monroe, Richland, Rock and Wood counties. (Table 14).


SOURCE: Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health, Center for Health Statistics; 1985. 17.


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.

We are unable to supply copies of the full report cited in this entry. Readers are advised to use the following sources:

  • Author or publisher: articles are frequently available from the author or publisher.
  • Medical or other research libraries: these facilities often have the material on hand or know where it can be obtained. If available, each journal entry includes the appropriate National Library of Medicine unique identification number to aid in interlibrary loan requests.
  • Government: some U.S. Government-sponsored research reports, including ones out-of print, are available from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More