Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agricultural industry. For this reason, September 18-24, 2022 is being recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week, which has been observed the third week of September since 1944, when President Roosevelt proclaimed the first event. The theme of this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week is “Protecting Agriculture’s Future”.
As you know, farming remains one of the most hazardous jobs in America, with a fatality rate many times higher than the average for all other occupations. In addition, research indicates that at least one in every nine farm families will experience a farm injury requiring medical treatment each year, some of which result in permanent disability.
For more information about National Farm Safety and Health Week, including educational materials and details about daily webinars covering a variety of safety and health related topics, please visit: www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek.
2021 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary
In conjunction with National Farm Safety & Health Week, the Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health Program just released the attached “2021 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary with Historical Overview.” The program has been monitoring farm-related fatalities in the state for nearly sixty years and publishes the summary annually to keep the public aware that agricultural production is still one of the most hazardous occupations in the state and U.S.
During 2021, at least 20 people died in farm-related incidents throughout the state. The 20 fatalities were well below the fifty-year average of 29.7 fatalities per year. One victims was a child, while 8 were over age of 60. Although the declining average number of fatalities is encouraging, we should never become complacent. As shown on the chart, fatality numbers vary from year to year.
The map below shows the total number of farm-related fatalities documented in each Indiana county during the years 1980-2021. Those counties with orange-highlighted numbers experienced at least one farm-related fatality in 2021.
Every county has suffered multiple farm fatalities during that time period. Elkhart and LaGrange counties, home to the largest Amish/Old Order communities in the state, have experienced more farm fatalities than any other.
For additional details about Indiana farm injuries and deaths, please refer to the attached 2021 summary, or click on the “NEWS” tab at www.inprepared.org to download a copy. Or, each yearly summary published since 1994 is available for download at: https://www.purdue.edu/engineering/ABE/INPREPared/indiana-farm-fatality-summaries/
If you have questions or concerns, or if the Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health program may be of assistance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.