Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Purchase-Order DSR-87-0943, 1988 May; :1-115
Agricultural machinery is involved in all major aspects of crop production and handling and many aspects of livestock production. For crops, there are tillage tools, planting tools, pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer application equipment, harvesting equipment and haying tools, and grain handling equipment. For livestock, there are feed handling equipment, animal handling equipment and manure handling equipment. And there are numerous miscellaneous or general purpose machines such as ladders, skip loaders, forklifts, and irrigation equipment. All of these machines, which greatly increase the labor productivity of farmers and ranchers, can present significant hazards to the people using them. Perhaps because of its· extensive involvement in the everyday chores and major, seasonal activities of farming, agricultural machinery has been identified often as the most common agency involved in farm work injuries. Studies of fatal and nonfatal injuries by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction (1957), Gadalla (1962), Jensen (1972), Novack (1971), and Paterson, Novack, and Bertrand (1972) all identify machinery as the most frequent agency of, accident. "Several studies of fatal injuries have also ranked machinery, together with tractors, as the leading agencies of injuries (Fritsch, 1976; Fritsch & Zimmer, 1980; Wardle & Hull, 1975; Baker & Stuckey, 1973; and Kansas State Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Registration and Health Statistics, 1978). Data from the 35 state farm surveys indicated that agricultural machinery was the leading agency of accident accounting for 17.6 per cent of the injuries, followed by animals with 16.9 percent. The analysis of agricultural machinery-related farm work injuries reported here was suggested by the frequent involvement of machines in farm work injuries and by their widespread use in farm and ranch work. The objectives of the analysis were to identify the role of agricultural machines in injuries and to identify possible interventions that, if implemented, could reduce the frequency and severity of such injuries. Two related analyses of the farm survey data were performed in conjunction with the work reported here. One was a general analysis of all occupational injuries including a comprehensive literature review and suggestions for interventions (Hoskin, Miller, Hanford , & Landes, 1988a). The other was an in-depth analysis of the survey data on tractor-related work injuries similar to this report on machinery-related cases (Hoskin, Miller, Hanford, & Landes, 1988b).