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J Rural Health. 2015 Fall;31(4):401-9. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12121. Epub 2015 May 29.

Characteristics of Work- and Non-work-Related Farm Injuries.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Injury Prevention Research Center, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, Iowa.



Farm-related injuries are an important public health problem in agriculture because of their impact on individuals, families, and farm operations. While surveillance programs such as the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is available to track fatal agricultural injuries, more work is needed to examine the burden of nonfatal agricultural injuries.


Data involving agricultural injuries were collected from the Iowa Trauma Registry from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2011. A total of 2,490 trauma patients were found to have been classified as having a farm-related injury. These nonfatal farm-related injuries were compared by work-relatedness, injury severity score, length of hospital stay, and hospital discharge status. Also reported are the age and gender of the trauma patients, as well as the population of the county in which the injury occurred.


In our analysis, we found that work- versus nonwork-relatedness had little effect on injury severity, but that work-related injuries did result in longer average hospital stays. Injuries occurring in counties of lower population size tended to be slightly more severe and be more likely to have nonroutine discharges.


Farm environments pose hazards which are persistent for those working and living on the farm, regardless of whether or not they are engaged in work-related activities. Public health prevention approaches that consider work and nonwork farm environments may be helpful in designing interventions to reduce injury.


agricultural injuries; farm-related injuries; nonwork-related farm injuries; trauma registry; work-related farm injuries

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