Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries surveillance system from 1992 through 1996 were analyzed to allow a better understanding of exposures to harmful substances or environments that resulted in agricultural work fatalities. There were 357 fatalities as a result of these exposures in the agriculture production and agriculture services sectors, representing 10% of all work-related deaths that occurred in these industry sectors during this period. Contact with electric current represented 52.9% of these fatalities. Agricultural services reported 87 electrocutions, 50 of which occurred among tree trimmers. The events most likely to result in fatalities were contact with overhead power lines (26.3%) and drowning (17.1%). The overall fatality rate was 2.1 deaths per 100,000 workers. The development of appropriate hazard-awareness training for workers, such as that for electrical and drowning-related hazards, may help prevent future deaths in these industry sectors.
From the Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WVa.
Address correspondence to: Nelson Adekoya, DrPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, P-180, Morgantown, WV 26505.