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Agricultural tractor overturn deaths: assessment of trends and risk factors.

Myers-JR; Hendricks-KJ
Am J Ind Med 2010 Jul; 53(7):662-672
Background: Tractor overturn deaths have been recognized as a public health concern for decades. Studies have reported on the hazards associated with tractor overturns, but none have reported on trends in tractor overturn fatality rates in the United States (US). Methods: Tractor overturn fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries were used in Poisson regression models to: identify risk factors associated with overturn fatalities; examine trends in tractor overturn fatality rates between 1992 and 2007; and assess trends in overturn fatality rates for specific risk factors. Results: Characteristics found to be associated with tractor overturn fatality rates were age, type of farm, region, and the victim's relationship to the farm (P < 0.0001). Older age groups, crop farms, farms in the Midwest and Northeast, and family workers all had higher fatal tractor overturn risks. Overall, tractor overturn fatality rates declined 28.5% between 1992 and 2007. Significant decreases in tractor overturn fatality rates were found for the Northeast and South regions, hired workers, crop farms, and in every age group except those less than 25 years of age. Conclusions: Tractor overturn fatality rates decreased between 1992 and 2007. These decreases were not consistent between different categories of the agricultural workforce or regions of the US. Changes in tractor overturn fatality rates may be partially explained by increases in the prevalence of ROPS on farm tractors in the US. ROPS promotion programs are needed to reduce tractor overturn fatalities, especially among those subpopulations at highest risk.
Surveillance-programs; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Traumatic-injuries; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Farmers; Agricultural-machinery; Demographic-characteristics; Equipment-design; Author Keywords: tractor overturns; fatalities; Poisson regression; trends; risk factors
John R. Myers, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, MS-1808, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine