Injuries and fatalities among agricultural workers in 2012

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in because there is a very high risk for nonfatal and fatal injuries. Oklahoma workers may not realize that agriculture is also one of few industries in which families live on farms together and share in the work, putting family members at risk of injury and death as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.85 million people were employed full-time as U.S. production agriculture workers in 2012. Data shows that around 167 agricultural employees suffer a work injury that results in time off work every day, and 5 percent of these cause permanent impairment. The number of deaths among agricultural workers in 2012 was 374, and many of these accidents involved tractor rollover accidents.

In 2012, about 955,000 young people under the age of 20 lived on farms, and around 472,000 participated in farm work. The primary cause of youth fatalities was machinery, such as tractors, at 23 percent of cases. The most common causes that followed were motor vehicles accidents at 19 percent, and drowning at 16 percent. An average 113 young people die every year on farms, according to data collected between 1995 and 2002, and 34 percent of these deaths involved workers from 16 to19 years old.

Although Oklahoma does not require agricultural employers to have workers' compensation coverage for employees who make less than $100,000 per year, some injured workers and dependents of fatally-injured workers might be able to secure compensation. Work-injury victims who are unsure of whether they are entitled to benefits may contact lawyers for help.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Agricultual Safety", December 08, 2014

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