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Estimating the Number of Agricultural Fatal Injuries Prevented by Agricultural Engineering Developments in the United States

U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC 20024, USA
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Safety 2019, 5(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5040063
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 23 September 2019 / Published: 25 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Safety and Health)
Agriculture has been consistently marked as one of the deadliest industries by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While this statistic is widely used in promoting agricultural safety and health, it does not paint a complete picture on the current status of agricultural safety and the advances that have been made in the last century. For example, even with a stagnant rate of injury, the BLS has reported that fatal incidents decreased from a high of 855 incidents in 1993 to a low of 500 incidents in 2013. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact that agricultural engineering developments had on reducing fatal injuries. Agricultural engineering developments are defined as any agricultural improvement that results in a direct reduction in the amount of labor needed. This study uses existing federal agricultural statistical, injury and demographic data to calculate the impact that engineering, in contrast to yield improvements and safety enhancements, contributed to a reduction in the number of fatal incidents. The study found that engineering developments could have contributed to the reduction in the number of fatal injuries by about 170 incidents from 1992 to 2015. This represents 63% of the total reduction in the number of fatal injuries. In conclusion, agricultural engineering developments play a substantial role in reducing the number of fatal incidents by removing and reducing labor exposure to hazardous environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural safety; injury prevention; fatal injuries; engineering; fatal injury rates; labor efficiency; agricultural productivity; agricultural engineering agricultural safety; injury prevention; fatal injuries; engineering; fatal injury rates; labor efficiency; agricultural productivity; agricultural engineering
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MDPI and ACS Style

Issa, S.F.; Patrick, K.; Thomson, S.; Rein, B. Estimating the Number of Agricultural Fatal Injuries Prevented by Agricultural Engineering Developments in the United States. Safety 2019, 5, 63.

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