NASHVILLE – Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and non-fatal injuries while on the job. In fact, Tennessee is among the top six states for deaths due to tractor accidents in agricultural work, according to data from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. During National Farm Safety and Health Week this September, the Department of Health joins the Department of Agriculture in raising awareness of the risks of farming accidents and ways to save lives through prevention.
“Farm injuries are especially prevalent during harvest season as farmers are working long hours and dealing with the additional stress of unpredictable weather and equipment problems,” Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We appreciate the opportunity to join with the Tennessee Department of Health in promoting safe and healthy practices on our farms and the rural roadways of Tennessee.”
The occupational fatality rate for farmers is 700 percent higher than other U.S. industries, including mining. During 2009-2012, an average of 17 fatalities from agricultural tractor accidents was reported in Tennessee every year. Engineering advancements made to tractors and other farm equipment have helped reduce injuries and deaths – but only when they are used properly.