Agricultural Health and Safety
With the introduction of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, American farmers couldn’t possibly foresee the dramatic upheaval agriculture would experience in the next several decades, nor the fundamental lifestyle changes, both positive and negative, it would usher in. High yielding varieties, dependent on synthetic fertilizers and oftentimes toxic pesticides, would become the norm, ending a way of life for some farm families, and simultaneously increasing the prosperity of others.
While this new found wealth changed agriculture in a mostly positive manner, it has placed the modern North American farmer in harms way his ancestors could never have imagined. Toxic gases, farm accidents, skin cancer, chemical exposure, drought, floods, insect infestation, long working hours, lack of finances including health insurance, disabling injuries, and isolation all play a part in the life of the modern farmer.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agriculture remains one of the most hazardous industries in this country, with approximately 1,823,000 full-time workers being employed in production agriculture in the U.S. in 2010. In this same year, 476 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury for a fatality rate of 26.1 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Farm work does not stop when the farmer is injured and often resumes despite injuries or before injuries are fully healed. However, various health and safety programs or services exist to provide the assistance and prevention the American farmer deserves.
Workplace Safety & Health Topics: Agricultural Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are more organizations related to Agricultural Health and Safety in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 8/10/2012