Farm Safety for Families
Farm and ranch owners know how much it takes to make a living in this business. No matter your role on a farm, chances are you have at least some exposure to dangerous machinery, chemicals or weather conditions from time to time.
Farm owners, hired workers and their families face numerous hazards that can result in injuries and illnesses including sprains and strains from overexertion, being struck by or caught in machinery, lacerations from hand tools such as knives, falls from ladders, pesticide poisoning, and heat or cold stress.
More than 893,000 youth lived on U.S. farms in 2014. Of those children living on the farm, more than half of them also worked on their farm, and another 265,600 non-resident youth were hired to work in agriculture.
There are over a million youth living and working on U.S. farms on a daily basis — and every one of them is at risk when farm operators fail to take steps to prevent injury.
Family Workers on the Farm
- Approximately 2,050,000 full-time workers were employed in production agriculture in the US in 2017.
- Approximately 1.4 to 2.1 million hired crop workers are employed annually on crop farms in the US.
- An estimated 893,000 youth under 20 years of age resided on farms in 2014, with about 454,000 youth performing farm work. In addition to the youth who live on farms, an estimated 266,000 youth were hired to work on US farms in 2014.
|Nature of Injury||Percentage|
|Sprain / Strain||41.6%|
|Cut / Laceration||23.3%|
|Fracture / Dislocation||9.7%|
|Bruise / Contusion||18.7%|
The Whole Family is at Risk
- Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury.
- From 2008-2010, 50% of all hired crop worker injuries were classified as a sprain or strain.
- In 2014, an estimated 12,000 youth were injured on farms; 4,000 of these injuries were due to farm work.
- In 2016, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury, resulting in a fatality rate of 21.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Transportation incidents, which include tractor overturns were the leading cause of death for these farmers and families.
Childhood Agricultural Injury Statistics
To put the numbers in perspective, here are some of the latest facts on children and farms from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.
- A child dies of an agriculture-related incident every three days.
- 33 children are injured in agriculture-related accidents every day.
- 25% of deaths among all U.S. youth involve machinery.
- Tractors and ATVs are the leading causes of deaths among working youth.
- 60% of youth injured in 2014 were not working on the farm at the time.
- Vehicles and animals are the leading causes of injury for youth on farms.
- Youth injuries cost society more than $1 billion a year.
The numbers are shocking, and even as the average number of farm injuries as a whole is on the decline, injuries to youth have stayed stagnant and increased, depending on the age group.
Let’s all work together to make sure the farms in our communities are safe and secure to protect the children and workers we love and rely on. Let’s make farm safety our #1 priority in 2019.
Perform a Safety Assesment
April is Farm Safety Month. We want to help you keep everybody who spends time on the farm as safe as can be. Take note of the following tips to keep kids and families to help reduce accidents and keep people safe.
- Keep children away from grain bins
Grain bins may look fun to some children who are allowed to roam without supervision. Take necessary precautions to make sure grain bins are inaccessible to children and they cannot play on or around the grain.
- Make chemicals inaccessible
If chemicals (such as pesticides) are used on your farm, make sure they are stored in a place children cannot access or get to during play. If you are working together, make sure that children are wearing protective clothing and are taught proper chemical care before allowing them to participate.
- Have proper-fitting protective clothing
Hats, gloves, jackets, coveralls, dust masks etc. are essential for protecting you and your family from injury. Do a quick in to make sure that all of your family’s protective gear is being worn regularly and is still in good condition.
- Do a safety check of machines
Make sure you follow all safety regulations when operating machinery and never leave machines unattended while they are running. Do not allow your children to join you on machines that are not safely made for more than one rider. Make sure that children are unable to access all machinery that could be dangerous if touched or played with.
- Emphasize safe practices
Safety is a learned behavior. Teach your family members how to live and enjoy life on a farm without putting themselves at risk. Some examples of teaching opportunities include sensibly driving ATVs, properly interacting with animals and playing safely around the farm.
- Teach cautious animal care
Children and teens can be fascinated by farm animals. Talk to your children about how to safely approach an animal and when to avoid contact. If your children will be riding horses or caring for animals, always supervise until they are old enough to handle them safely.
Become a Family Safe Farm!
We want to know what you’re doing to promote farm safety! Share the infographic below or let us know what else you’re doing to keep everybody safe and healthy. We’ll shout you out on our website as a Family Safe Farm! Submit your response below!
Embed This Infographic on Your Website!
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Click on the code area above, highlight all of the text, and press CTRL + C (for Windows) / CMD + C (for Macintosh) to copy the code. If you’re on a mobile device, tap on the code, drag the markers to highlight the entire text and select “Copy.” Place this code on your website or give it to your webmaster!