November 5, 2013

Farm Fatalities in Illinois

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Each day, more than 200 agriculture workers suffer an injury severe enough to miss work, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Many farm laborers die because of injuries they received while working.

Below are the locations by county of 800 farm fatalities in Illinois from 1986 to 2012, as recorded by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Extension Office.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for monitoring workplace safety in the United States. However, because farm fatalities sometimes go unreported and because OSHA is not required to enforce safety regulations on farms that have fewer than 11 employees, it does not maintain a comprehensive farm-fatality database.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Extension Office recorded fatalities as far north as Warren County when a farmer died extinguishing a brush fire, and as far south as Massac County when a 12-year-old boy died from injuries suffered while falling off a tractor.

Others have also been electrocuted, crushed by wagons, attacked by animals and maimed by everyday farm equipment. In total, there were at least 800 Illinois farm deaths during that span.

The agriculture industry consistently ranks among the most hazardous industries in the country.

To use the map:

Click on a marker to see a brief description about the accident, age and sex of victim and county where located. Zoom in with your mouse to focus on a county. Use the search bar below to narrow results by cause of death.

Source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Extension Office

Data notes: 1986-1992 data compiled from the clippings provided by the Illinois Press Association. It is estimated that the data reported includes 60-80 percent of the actual farm deaths in Illinois in those years. Data for 1993-01 compiled using Illinois Press Association clippings and survey of death certificates by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Epidemiological Studies.

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