Study Finds Agriculture-Related Injuries Higher than Previously Recognized

A new study by Penn State researchers looked at emergency room admissions and found that from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2019, more than 60,000 people were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal, agricultural-related injuries. Nearly a third of those injuries were to youths. This study revealed far more agriculture-related injuries than are reported through mechanisms that tally workplace injuries, because many of the injuries involve youths or elderly people not traditionally counted as part of the workforce. The researchers suggest that recognizing what injuries occur and how they happen could prevent them from recurring. “Small farms are family-oriented businesses, and often they have all their family members helping out,” said study author Judd Michael. “And the kids who are helping out or visiting the farm are exposed to hazards that they may not understand or know how to react to. They’re not mature enough to foresee hazardous situations. And that leads to injuries or worse, in some cases, fatalities.”