Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries; and farming is one of the few industries in which family members (who often share the work and live on the premises) are also at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.
In 1990, NIOSH developed an extensive agricultural safety and health program to address the high risks of injuries and illnesses experienced by workers and families in agriculture. NIOSH supports extramural research and prevention programs at university centers in 10 states. These programs conduct research on injuries associated with agriculture, as well as pesticide exposure, pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss, and stress.
Who’s at Risk?
Approximately 2,038,000 full-time workers were employed in production agriculture in the US in 2018.
Approximately 1.4 to 2.1 million hired crop workers are employed annually on crop farms in the US.
An estimated 893,000 youth under 20 years of age resided on farms in 2014, with about 454,000 youth performing farm work. In addition to the youth who live on farms, an estimated 266,000 youth were hired to work on US farms in 2014.