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NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
For the current work of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program, please visit our directory page.

	farm, forest, fishing boat

Program Description

	Bar chart showing occupational fatality rate by industry, U.S., 2005-2009

Source: BLS, CFOI , Table 3: by industry (2-digit NAICS code level). Rates for the years 2006-2009 calculated using total hours worked (FTE). Data for 2009 are preliminary.

	Bar chart showing occupational fatality rate by AgFF high risk occupations, U.S., 2005-2009

Note: High-risk occupations within industries with fatality rate greater than 25/100,000/year. Source: BLS, CFOI , Table 2: by occupation (SOC code).

	Farm scene showing crops being harvested from the fields with storage building in the background.Read more about occupational risks in AgFF .

Given the magnitude of the occupational safety and health issues in the AgFF sector, NIOSH, its grantees, and other partners have worked toward prioritizing the needs of this population and allowed those priorities to guide current and future research. Currently, NIOSH and its grantees in the AgFF sector are working on a combined total of over 40 research projects in areas such as pesticide exposure, agricultural surveillance, “smart clothing” for loggers and forest workers, and improving vessel stability. All of which are consider high priority areas for this particular sector. Funding for these projects also supports approximately 135 full-time NIOSH employees and extramural grantees. Read more about all NIOSH and grantee AgFF projects .

Furthermore, there are a number of emerging issues that still need to be explored in this sector, where little or no work is yet underway. For example, the use of global positioning system-controlled tractors on large farms. Although adoption of these new technologies may benefit productivity, new technologies can also result in unanticipated occupational safety and health risks and benefits. Therefore, continued research in this sector is critical to the occupational safety and health of those who work within the sector. Read more about emerging issues .

	Logging site showing logging machine and workers.Although the rates of fatality and injury remain high in this sector, the research efforts of NIOSH and its grantees, including nine grant funded agricultural centers, have contributed to reductions in fatalities and injuries over the last 10-15 years largely through the accomplishment of intermediate outcomes. For instance, the F/V Wizard, from the Deadliest Catch, participated in the NIOSH personal flotation device (PFD) study. The F/V Wizard has a 100% mandatory PFD requirement while on deck. The NIOSH study played a role in the captain’s decision to make PFDs mandatory. The Department of Labor (DOL) also relies on NIOSH recommendations to inform their rule making process. On May 20, the DOL announced final child labor rules that went into effect on July 19, 2010. The federal register notice and Department of Labor fact sheet both note that these new rules include numerous science-based recommendations made by NIOSH (by DOL's count, 25 of the NIOSH non-agricultural Hazardous Orders recommendations.) DOL is describing these new rules as the "...most ambitious and far-reaching revisions to the child labor regulations in the last thirty years." Read more about AgFF outcomes .

	Fishermen on the deck of boatSince protecting the occupational safety and health of workers is NIOSH’s first priority, the Institute works diligently to ensure that it expends its funds efficiently and effectively. One of the ways the Institute does this is through periodic program evaluations. In 2005, NIOSH commissioned the National Academies to conduct program reviews of eight of its programs, one of the eight being the AgFF program. Based on the recommendations received from the National Academies committee, the gold standard of independent scientific review, NIOSH developed a plan to guide the implementation of these recommendations over the next several years. NIOSH’s Board of Scientific Counselors has also been asked to periodically assess the programs progress in undertaking the implementation of these recommendations. Read more about the AgFF program's National Academies review .