Agriculture ranks among the most dangerous industries. Between 2003 and 2011, 5,816 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries in the US.
- In 2011, 570 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries.The fatality rate for agricultural workers was 7 times higher than the fatality rate for all workers in private industry; agricultural workers had a fatality rate of 24.9 deaths per 100,000, while the fatality rate for all workers was 3.5.3
- The leading cause of death for farmworkers between 1992 and 2009 was tractor overturns, accounting for over 90 deaths annually. The most effective way to prevent tractor overturn deaths is the use of Roll-Over Protective Structures; however in 2006 only 59% of tractors used on farms in the US were equipped with these devices.2
- Every day, about 243 agricultural workers suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment.
- In 2011, the injury rate for agricultural workers was over 40 percent higher than the rate for all workers. Crop production agricultural workers' injury rates were 5.5 per 100 workers. Animal production agricultural workers’ injury rates were 6.7 per 100 workers.
- Young workers who live and work on farms are also exposed to potentially dangerous farm-related hazards. Farm operators who hire youth to work on their farm should be aware of all applicable child labor laws.
- Approximately one half of farmworkers are Hispanic. OSHA requires that employers conduct all required training of workers in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. OSHA lists Spanish-language outreach resources on the following pages: Hispanic Outreach Module of Compliance Assistance Quick Start, Spanish-Language Compliance Assistance Resources, Spanish-Language Publications, and Podemos Ayudar (We Can Help).
Agricultural operations are covered by several Occupational Safety and Health standards including Agriculture (29 CFR 1928), General Industry (29 CFR 1910), and the General Duty Clause. You can view all of the applicable OSHA standards, preambles to final rules, directives and standard interpretations for agricultural operations, as well as other Federal standards applicable to Agriculture
Note: For all Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data in this Safety and Health Topics Page, "agricultural worker" refers to any worker in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (GP2AFH) industry. These numbers are the best available representation of workers in the agricultural industry.