Purdue releases 2020 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary before National Farm Safety and Health Week

Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agricultural industry.  For this reason, September 19-25, 2021 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 “Farm Safety Yields Real Results”.

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.

2020 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary

In conjunction with National Farm Safety & Health Week, the Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health Program just released the attached “2020 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 2020, at least 25 people died in farm-related incidents throughout the state.  The 25 fatalities were well below the fifty-year average of 30.2 fatalities per year, but represent an increase over 2019’s 21 documented deaths.   Two victims were under 18 years of age, while 13 were over age of 60.  While 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.

Indiana Farm Fatalities since 1970

Each heart on the map at below represents a documented farm-related fatality in that particular county.  Over the past 41 years, at least 1,115 people have died from farm-related incidents in the state. 

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.

CLICK HERE to access a copy of the 2020 summary. If you have questions or concerns, or if the Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health program may be of assistance, please contact me at ejsheldo@purdue.edu.

If you need more information contact: inprepared@purdue.edu.

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