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Agricultural tractor-related injuries: a 35-state summary.

Hoskin AF; Miller TA; Hanford WD; Landes SR
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Purchase-Order DSR-87-0941, 1988 Apr; :1-89
Within the diversity of tasks and chores necessary to run a modern farm or ranch successfully, there are certain activities that pose special hazards. Among these are operating agricultural machinery and tractors, driving trucks or other vehicles, handling animals, and using tools. In studies that did not distinguish between fatal and nonfatal outcomes of farm-related injuries, agricultural machinery (except tractors) was usually the most common agency involved (Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction, 1957; Gadalla, 1962; Jensen, 1972; Novack, 1971; and Paterson, Novack & Bertrand, 1972). The 35 state farm surveys also list machinery as the leading agency accounting for 19.6 per cent of all injuries. When confined to fatal injuries, however, the studies usually identified tractors as the most common agency involved. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services (1970) attributed 35 per cent of farm deaths to tractors. Jepsen (1981) and Murphy (1985) reported that tractors accounted for at least 50 percent of the deaths in their studies. And the 35 state farm surveys indicated that more than one fourth of the reported deaths involved tractors. It was estimated that about 400 tractor-related deaths occurred nationwide in 1986 (National Safety Council, 1987). The analysis of tractor-related farm work injuries reported here was undertaken because of the frequent involvement of agricultural tractors in fatal accidents and because of their widespread use in farm and ranch work. The objectives of the analysis were to identify the role of tractors in farm work injuries and to try to identify intervention measures that, if implemented, could reduce the number or 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 machinery-related work injuries similar to this report on tractor-related cases (Hoskin, Miller, Hanford, & Landes, 1988b).
Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Animals; Health-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Mortality-rates; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Safety-practices; Tractors; Work-analysis; Work-organization; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Farmers; Safety-belts; Safety-equipment; Machine-guarding; Traumatic-injuries
Publication Date
Document Type
Purchase Order Report
Funding Type
Purchase Order
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
National Safety Council
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division