Common Causes of Fatal Farm Accidents in North Central Ohio
ASHLAND, OHIO - The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Trustee, Roger Baker, believes Ohio is at risk for losing its farming industry due to preventable accidents.* The National Safety Council states that agriculture has some of the "highest rates of preventable fatal work injuries among major industry sectors."
Dee Jepsen, the state leader for The Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program, says that farm-related fatalities in Ohio have been increasing every year. Ms. Jepsen is also a professor of biological engineering at Ohio State University. She heads up the Ohio Ag Safety Program's monitoring efforts to collect information on Ohio farm fatalities.
According to the data collected over the past 10 years, the most prevalent cause of death on Ohio farms are accidents involving machinery and tractors, followed by all-terrain vehicles accidents, grain handling fatalities, and skid loaders/forklifts accidents. The data shows that tractor accidents combined with towed wagons account for about 59% of farm deaths. The data also shows that deaths are rising due to grain bin accidents and other accidents in confined spaces such as ATVs and skid loaders.
Ohio State University's Ag Safety Program recorded 18 farm-related deaths in the seven-county region. The most common farm injury in Ohio involved tractors.
While OSHA rules apply on all farms regardless of size, OSHA rules are often not enforced. Agency inspectors are prohibited by law from inspecting farms that have ten employees or fewer, and family members who act as farm employers are not counted when ascertaining the number of farm employees. Thus, small family farms are not typically subject to upholding safety rules or tracking accidents.
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