Farm-related deaths in New York down in recent years but still too many - June 28, 2022
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States. Not only are agricultural workers are at a high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries but also their family members, who may help out or live on the farm.
There is evidence that the farm-related fatality rate in New York may be gradually decreasing, according to NYCAMH's recently released New York State Agricultural Fatality Report: 2019-2021. Deaths in the state tied to agricultural work decreased in the last three years: 21 in 2019, 15 in 2020 and seven in 2021.
The lower numbers in 2021, however, may only be a "momentary downtick," and the percentage of childhood deaths on farms remains tragically significant.
"Fatalities on farms are rare and often erratic in nature. You have to look at the numbers over a couple of decades," explains Deputy Director Erika Scott, who oversees NYCAMH'S injury and fatality surveillance efforts. "Then you notice that they jump up and down a lot." (see graph, top right)
The report cites the top causes of death from 2019-2021 as (1) tractor rollovers*, (2)coming into contact with equipment or other farm objects and (3)road-related crashes involving motor vehicles and farm equipment.
· Road-related crashes involving motor vehicles and farm equipment or tractors are the second leading cause of farm-related deaths.
· More than half of all farm machinery-related deaths involved minors; half were children under the age of ten.
· Males continue to represent the majority of deaths.
· Adults aged 55+ make up the majority of farm-related deaths.
Tracking fatalities within New York State is part of NYCAMH's mission. Data are used to share with industry partners and to guide NYCAMH's service and research priorities.
For more information on the study, access the detailed report here.