Agriculture

More Farm Fatalities Reported In Indiana

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October 3, 2013 — The number of deaths on Indiana farms were up in the last yearrose by nearly two-thirds in 2012, according to an annual report released by Purdue. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jashin Lin reports the number of fatal on-farm accidents this year was the highest its been since 2008.

The report says 26 people died on Indiana farms in 2012. According to the Indiana Farm Fatality Summary, that’s up from 16 fatalities in the previous year. The report’s authors characterized it as a, quote, “dramatic reversal in the downward trend in the frequency of fatalities over the past four years.”

Roughly 143,000 people work on farms in Indiana. Indiana Department of Labor spokesperson Chetrise Mosley says the accident numbers serve as reminders of how important it is to consider workplace safety:

“In addition to hopefully minimizing loss of life and minimizing injuries in the workplace, there are other things to be gained from it. For example, lower workman’s compensation costs, fewer lost work days, higher employee morale, less employee turnoverrkplace, you know, they want to stay there.”

Tractors accounted for nearly half of last year’s fatalities, which is on par with the frequency of tractor deaths in the last 20 years.

Some good news: the report found that the number of children aged 18 and younger dying in agricultural workplaces has been decreasing — likely due to changing parental expectations and the introduction of agricultural machinery increasingly too complex for most children and youth to operate.

How many of those 26 actually took place on the farm, then?
That’s likely because agricultural equipment has become more complex to operate… and because parents’ expectations for children to help out on the farm are changing.

How many of those 26 actually took place on the farm, then?
Historically, farm fatality numbers have been higher in counties with significant Amish populations. The report attributes this to accidents involving horse-drawn machinery and more labor-intensive farming practices.

 

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