Farming: The most dangerous job in the U.S.

National Farm Safety and Health Week reminding ag community and public of ways to safeguard families and farms.


Beef Magazine

Sep 21, 2022


Each year, more people die while farming than while serving as police officers, firefighters, or other emergency responders.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a rate of 23 work-related deaths per 100,000 workers in the agricultural industry. That is seven times higher than the national average for workers.


Fall harvest – the most dangerous season for those in the nation’s most dangerous profession – is fast approaching, says Karen Funkenbusch, health and safety specialist for University of Missouri Extension.


National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 18-24, is observed by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety to remind the agricultural community and public of ways to safeguard families and farms.


“Protecting Agriculture’s Future” is this year’s theme, and it brings attention to tractor season on roadways, says Funkenbusch.


Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of fatalities in the agriculture industry, accounting for more than half of all farm-related deaths. The odds of a farmer having a rollover accident are high, says Funkenbusch. One in 10 tractor operators overturns a tractor in his or her lifetime.


While most tractor rollover accidents happen on the farm, roadways pose a major safety hazard as farmers move equipment from field to field during planting, haying and harvest. Many of these accidents occur when a vehicle attempts to pass or fails to reduce speed for slow-moving farm equipment. Accidents also occur when tractors pull or run off the road and lose traction and stability on uneven surfaces...