Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health

Tractor spraying soybean, person with chainsaw, person with fish


The Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health represent a major NIOSH effort to protect the health and safety of workers in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AgFF) sector. AgFF workers experience the highest fatal injury rate at 23.4 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to a rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers for all U.S. industries.1

The NIOSH Agricultural Centers were established as part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative in 1990. The Centers were developed by a cooperative agreement to conduct research, education, and prevention projects to address the nation’s pressing agricultural, forestry and fishing health and safety problems. Geographically, the Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the health and safety issues in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) Sector unique to the different regions, but collaborate on national events and projects such as a the Centers’ YouTube channel. The Centers also work in collaboration with NIOSH project areas, such as commercial fishing safety, agricultural safety, Cost-effective Rollover Protective Structures (CROPS),  and pesticide illness & injury surveillance. The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety specifically addresses the needs of children and families who live and work on farms across the country.


  • Develop and conduct research related to the prevention of occupational disease and injury in the AgFF sector.
  • Develop and implement model educational outreach, and intervention programs promoting AgFF health and safety.
  • Develop and evaluate control technologies to prevent illness and injuries among AgFF workers.
  • Develop and implement model programs for the prevention of illness and injury among AgFF workers.
  • Evaluate AgFF injury and disease prevention and educational materials and programs implemented by the Centers.
  • Provide consultation and/or training to researchers, health and safety professionals, graduate/professional students, and agricultural extension agents and others in a position to improve the health and safety of AgFF workers.
  • Develop linkages and communication with other governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in AgFF health and safety with special emphasis on communications with other CDC/NIOSH sponsored programs related to agriculture, forestry and fishing.


1BLS [2019]. Number and rate of fatal work injuries by industry sector, 2018. In: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2019. Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Map of the USA with the dots representing the locations of the Centers of Agricultural Safety and Health across twelve states.

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