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A statewide surveillance program of agricultural injuries and illnesses - North Dakota.

Shireley LA; Gilmore RA
Agricultural health and safety: workplace, environment, sustainability. McDuffie HH, Dosman JA, Semchuk KM, Olenchock SA, Senthilselvan A, eds. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, 1995 Apr; :289-293
A surveillance program developed by the North Dakota Department of Health and Consolidated Laboratories (NDSDHCL), initiated in 1990 for the study of agricultural injuries and illnesses, was discussed. The program consisted of five agricultural health nurses in geographically defined catchment areas of North Dakota, each responsible for conducting surveillance and followup within their area. Health care providers were given a brief standardized form for reporting preliminary information about patients' agriculture related illnesses or injuries, with the information being supplemented by reports received by a statewide injury reporting system operated by the Division of Disease Control of the NDSDHCL. Health nurses also interviewed patients with a standardized questionnaire. During the first complete calendar year of the program, 546 agriculture related injuries were reported to the system, representing a rate of 198.5 injuries per 100,000 agricultural workers, with most (87.4%) of the injuries occurring to males. The mean age of the injured cases was 41 years (yr), with the largest proportion (21%) of injuries occurring in persons 30 to 39yr old. Agricultural machinery and animals were the two major causes of injury, accounting for 23 and 17% of the total, respectively. Musculoskeletal injuries were the most frequently reported type of injury, accounting for 31% of the total. Fifty six accidental exposures to agricultural chemicals were reported, with most (82%) involving exposures to pesticides. Nineteen agriculture related illnesses (compared to injuries) were reported in 1991, with ten involving gastrointestinal illnesses, seven respiratory disorders, and two dermatoses; ten fatal injuries were also reported. The authors conclude that, following the first complete year of the NDSDHCL's surveillance program, the agricultural industry continues to demonstrate a hazardous occupation.
NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Agriculture; Humans; Agricultural-industry; Surveillance-programs; Accident-analysis; Occupational-accidents; Agricultural-workers; Industrial-safety; Questionnaires; Occupational-health-nursing; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Epidemiology;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
McDuffie HH; Dosman JA; Semchuk KM; Olenchock SA; Senthilselvan A
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Agricultural health and safety: workplace, environment, sustainability
Performing Organization
North Dakota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division