Senior farmer in a field examining crop



CDC: COVID-19: Work & School: Community, Work, and School: Information for Where You Live, Work, Learn, and Play
CDC Webpage
This webpage provides guiding principles and strategies to protect students, teachers, staff, and communities.

Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Program
NIOSH Publication No. 2020-101.
The Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Program provides leadership to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among the nation’s agricultural and forestry workers and fishermen. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and
upcoming work.

Occupational Health of Hired Farmworkers in the United States: National Agricultural Workers Survey Occupational Health Supplement, 1999
NIOSH Publication No. 2009-119.
Hired farmworkers form a core component of the agricultural workforce in the United States. However, very little national health data exists for this population. In 1998, to define the magnitude and scope of hired farmworker occupational health problems, the NIOSH collaborated with the Department of Labor to collect occupational safety and health information about a nationally representative sample of hired farmworkers. The collaboration allowed NIOSH to include questions on occupational health in an existing Department of Labor survey, the National Agricultural Workers Survey. This document presents a first look at the health data from this collaboration. This document presents nationally representative data on hired crop farmworker occupational health.

Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries when Handling Micotil 300
NIOSH Publication No. 2007-124.
Livestock producers, veterinarians, and other workers may be exposed to the toxic hazards of the animal antibiotic Micotil 300® through needlestick injuries, skin cuts, puncture wounds, and contact with skin and mucous membranes. Cardio-toxic effects of Micotil 300® on the human heart, including a reduced cardiac contractility and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), can be severe enough to cause death. This Workplace Solution recommends that extreme care be given to following safe drug handling and injection procedures to avoid the possibility of self-injection. Although no antidote exists for Micotil 300®, exposed persons should seek immediate medical intervention as the drug’s cardiotoxic effects may be reversed.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Phosphine Poisoning and Explosions during Fumigation
NIOSH Publication No. 99-126 (September 1999)
Phosphide fumigants release toxic phosphine gas (PH3) when they contact moisture in the air. When phosphine is inhaled, it can react with moisture in the lungs to form phosphoric acid, which can cause blistering and edema. These effects can be serious or fatal. Exposure to phosphine has also been linked with other effects such as chest tightness, headache, dizziness, and nausea. Also, improper handling of aluminum and magnesium phosphide has caused injuries from flash fires and explosions. This Alert describes 205 cases of illness or injury in workers exposed to phosphine gas associated with phosphide fumigants. Recommendations are provided for workers and employers that cover areas such as: aeration and re-entry after fumigation, industrial hygiene monitoring, personal hygiene, protective clothing, and respirators.
En Español

Hazard ID #4: Ignition Hazard from Drilling into Sealed Frames of Agricultural Equipment
NIOSH Publication No. 98-146 (July 1998)
NIOSH received two separate reports of farm workers who were injured while attempting to drill holes into sealed plow frames in order to mount a hitch or a “slow-moving vehicle” sign. These workers received serious skin burns and other injuries when the drill bits penetrated the frames releasing and igniting flammable gases. Hydrogen and methane gas may be produced within sealed frames that are filled during manufacture with scrap metal ballast. Although the reported ignitions involved plows from the same manufacturer, the use of scrap metal fill may not be unique to plows or to that manufacturer. The potential for such ignitions exists in any equipment with similar ballast in sealed compartments during drilling, cutting, welding, or other operations that both release the gases and provide an ignition source. This Hazard ID provides recommendations for agricultural workers, equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers, agricultural extension agents, and universities in dealing with this hazard.

Safe Grain and Silage Handling
NIOSH Publication No. 95-109 (October 1995)
Grain-handling machinery is the second largest cause of farm machinery related deaths and also causes many severe disfiguring injuries and amputations. Many grain-handling hazards can be avoided. The goal of this booklet is to point out these hazards and suggest practical ways to prevent injury. These suggestions were gathered from agricultural engineers and safety experts throughout the world, but primarily from the United States and Canada.

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Scalping and Other Severe Injuries from Farm Machinery
NIOSH Publication No. 94-105 (June 1994)
This Alert describes five cases of persons who were scalped when their hair became entangled around the inadequately guarded rotating drivelines or shafts of farm machinery driven by power take-offs (PTOs). Such entanglements of hair, clothing, or body parts kill and injure many farm workers each year. The recommendations in this Alert are provided to help prevent these entanglement injuries and deaths.
En Español

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Deaths of Farm Workers in Manure Pits
NIOSH Publication No. 90-103 (May 1990)
This Alert describes seven deaths from asphyxiation (suffocation) that occurred during two incidents involving entry into manure pits. The recommendations included in this Alert should be followed by all farm owners and operators who have manure pits on their property. Editors of appropriate trade journals, agriculture extension agents, farm owners and operators, and those in the agricultural trades are requested to bring the recommendations in this Alert to the attention of all workers who are at risk.

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Entrapment and Suffocation Caused by the Unstable Surfaces of Stored Grain and Other Materials
NIOSH Publication No. 88-102 (December 1987)
Entrapment and suffocation are hazards associated with storage bins and hoppers where loose materials such as grain, sand, or gravel are stored, handled, or transferred. The fatalities described in this Alert occurred when suspended materials or crusted surfaces of stored material suddenly broke loose and entrapped the workers. The behavior of such material is unpredictable, and entrapment and burial can occur in a matter of seconds. This Alert recounts seven case reports describing the deaths of 12 workers. In each case, the workers became entrapped in grain or other loose material and were unable to free themselves or be freed by their co-workers. These deaths demonstrate the need to focus on preventing future fatalities.

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Grain Auger Electrocutions
NIOSH Publication No. 86-119 (July 1986)
This Alert requests the assistance of farm owners/managers, farm/agricultural workers, and farm equipment manufacturers in the prevention of electrocutions which may occur while moving metal grain augers. The grain auger is an essential piece of farm equipment which is used to move grain from one location to another. However, every year accidents occur when this piece of equipment is improperly moved in the elevated position and it comes into contact with high voltage power lines. This has resulted in one or more fatalities per incident. This Alert describes two separate incidents that resulted in five fatalities, and occurred within the same week (150 miles apart), and provides recommendations aimed at preventing auger-related electrocutions.

NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Fatalities Due to Fires and Explosions in Oxygen-Limiting Silos
NIOSH Publication No. 86-118 (July 1986)
This Alert requests the assistance of fire department personnel, farm owners and workers, and silo manufacturers in the prevention of fatalities due to fires and explosions occurring in oxygen-limiting silos. Several recent incidents occurred while fighting oxygen-limiting silo fires which resulted in the death of fire fighters. Other fire fighters lost their lives as a result of similar explosions in the late 1960s. The problems associated with burning silos appeared to have abated during recent years, but these incidents demonstrate the need to renew efforts to minimize their recurrence. A concerted effort should be made to prevent silo fires from occurring and to provide training programs on controlling this type of fire.

Page last reviewed: August 2, 2022