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Statistics on job-related injuries in agriculture

People in Illinois who are employed in agriculture might be aware that it is one of the most dangerous industries to work in but are probably unaware of the statistics for fatal and non-fatal accidents. In 2012, around 1.8 million people in the United States worked full-time in production agriculture. But it is not only farmers and farm workers who are at risk for workplace injuries but also family members who live on farms and might share some of the work.

Children and young adults are among those at risk for farm-related accidents. Nearly one million children and teens were living on farms in 2012. Around 472,000 people under age 20 lived and worked on farms while an estimated 259,000 more youths performed farm work. Each year, around 113 children and teens suffer fatalities from job-related injuries in the agriculture industry. Approximately one-third of those youth fatalities happened to teens aged 16 to 19.

Nearly 170 farm workers per day experience an injury bad enough to miss work. Around 5 percent of these injuries are so severe as to constitute a permanent impairment. Even more upsetting is the number of deaths caused by working on farms. In 2012, farm-related accidents led to the death of 374 workers. The primary cause of cause of death for agriculture workers is tractors overturning. A roll-over protective structure offers protection against fatalities from tractor overturn, yet in 2012 only 59 percent of farm tractors had this safety feature.

Many agricultural workers injured on the job are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These might include weekly payments to cover lost wages, medical expenses or lump sum payments to victims or their families. An attorney could assist victims receive all the benefits to which they are entitled in a timely manner.

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

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