WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WANE) — As the fall harvest season ramps up, so does the possibility of hazards on the farm.
Edward Sheldon, an agricultural safety specialist at Purdue University, said farming is recognized as one of the most hazardous industries in the country alongside mining and construction. Around three-fourths of farm injuries and fatalities result from machinery.
In Indiana, there were 20 work-related on-farm deaths in 2021, according to Purdue University’s Indiana Farm Fatality Summary.
Data shows that tractors are the most common agent in farm-related fatalities, representing as many as 52% of documented cases in the past 10 years, with six reported cases in 2021.
Other significant hazards include confined spaces such as grain bins and silos where individuals can become trapped or disoriented.
Sheldon said farming technology has improved dramatically in the last 40 years, enabling farmers to do more with less risk and it is important to recognize that farms have become safer in recent decades.