Agriculture Worker Safety and Health

Key points

  • Agricultural workers are at increased risk for on-the-job injuries and deaths.
  • NIOSH created an agricultural safety and health program to address the risk of injuries and illnesses experienced by agricultural workers and their families.
Agricultural workers

Quick facts and stats


  • Between 2021-2022, there were 21,020 injuries in agricultural production that required days away from work. There is well-known underreporting of injuries in this industry.1
  • Almost one-third (29%) of injuries in agricultural production that required days away from work from 2021-2022 were from falls.1
  • In 2014, An estimated 4,000 youth were injured while working on a farm.2


  • In 2022, workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry had one of the highest fatal injury rates (18.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalents), compared to 3.7 deaths per 100,000 FTE for all U.S. industries.3
  • Transportation incidents were the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers. Other leading causes were violence by other persons or animals and contact with objects and equipment.3
  • In 2022, over half (56%) of deaths in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry occurred to workers 55 years of age and older.4

Who is at increased risk

  • In 2023, approximately 2.3 million workers were employed in agriculture and related industries in the U.S.5
  • The average age of all U.S. farm producers in 2022 was 58.1 years, up 0.6 years from 2017, continuing a long-term trend of aging in the U.S. producer population.6
  • An estimated 893,000 youth under 20 years of age lived on farms in 2014, with just over half (51%) also performing work on the farm.
  • An estimated 266,000 youth were hired to work on U.S. farms in 20147.

What's being done

In 1990, NIOSH developed an agricultural safety and health program to address the high risks of fatal injuries and illnesses experienced by workers and families in agriculture.

NIOSH supports extramural research and prevention programs at 12 Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health. These programs conduct research on injuries related to agriculture as well as pesticide exposure, respiratory health, musculoskeletal disorders, underserved populations, and mental health.




More on agricultural safety‎

See the NIOSHTIC-2 database search results on agricultural safety. NIOSHTIC-2 is a database of occupational safety and health publications funded in whole or in part by NIOSH.