A study by Penn State suggests the agriculture industry is more hazardous than previously thought.
The research revealed that from 2015, through 2019, more than 60,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for agricultural-related injuries.
Georgia Farm Bureau Federation President Tom McCall became one of those emergency room visits following a recent accident.
He told The Farm Monitor it just took a second to have his arm crushed because he forgot to turn off his baler to do a quick fix. Now he’s using his accident to help other farmers and ranchers not have to make another emergency room visit.
McCall: “Safety is something we all need to be conscious of. Always. Whether it’s hitting a ditch in the field or a tractor rollover or doing something stupid like working on a hay baler with it running. If you could think a split second ahead there never would be an accident but none of us can do that and there’s going to be accidents.”
The Penn State study’s author says it revealed the magnitude of the agricultural-related injury problem and admitted to being slightly surprised at the sheer number of farm-related injuries. Ag Sciences Professor Judd Michael also said he’s concerned by the high number of youths who were injured. Nearly a third of those injured were young people.
Michael noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics captures only nonfatal occupational injuries through its Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.
That survey collects data on work-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses among employees in all industries in the U.S. But its data does not include self-employed farmers and family members or workers on farms with fewer than 11 employees.
He said estimates say that the federal survey was undercounting occupational injuries and illnesses in agriculture by about 78 percent.