NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health and safety hazards associated with farming.
Ehlers JK; Connon C; Themann CL; Myers JR; Ballard T
AAOHN J 1993 Sep; 41(9):414-421
The hazards associated with the farming industry were reviewed, and methods of hazard prevention were considered. Daily noise levels to which 10% of the farmers in the United States are exposed are in excess of the 85 decibel-A action level, the level at which hearing conservation programs are mandated for workers in this country. The four major causes of accidental deaths on farms were agricultural machinery, motor vehicles, falling objects, and electricity. Approximately 18% of all work related injuries in farming result from agricultural machinery mishaps. The most commonly used machine and the one associated with the greatest hazard was the tractor. Electrocutions accounted for about 7% of all agricultural work related deaths. These hazards may be found in many places including internal wiring of farm buildings, buried electrical cables, and overhead powerlines. A variety of hazardous chemicals may be found on farms, including pesticides, fertilizers, diesel fumes, metal fumes, solvents, sanitizing solutions and well water contaminants such as nitrates. Potential respiratory hazards included dusts, gases and chemicals. Exposure to domestic and wild animals, insects, soil, and contaminated water supplies placed workers at risk for about 40 significant zoonotic, parasitic, and other infections. Psychosocial factors affecting the health and safety of farmers, farm workers and farm families included stress, economic conditions, language barriers, long working hours, care of young children while working, working alone, and lack of access to health care.
Epidemiology; Agricultural-workers; Job-stress; Airborne-dusts; Respiratory-system-disorders; Occupational-sociology; Safety-practices; Agricultural-chemicals; Electrical-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Accident-rates; Health-hazards
Issue of Publication
DSHEFS; DBBS; DSR
AAOHN Journal - American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal
Page last reviewed: May 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division