ANALYSIS OF OLDER FARMER WORK-RELATED FATALITIES IN INDIANA WITH APPLICATION OF FINDINGS TO INJURY PREVENTION EFFORTS
The primary goal of this research was to summarize the occupational farm-related fatalities of Indiana farmers 55 years and older and to recommend evidence-based intervention strategies targeting older farmers who perform activities that involve the cutting and trimming of trees. The primary activities consisted of (1) preparing a summary of occupational farm-related fatalities of farmers who were 55 years and older, (2) preparing a summary of occupational farm-related fatalities of older farmers who were performing activities in a woodlot setting or that included the occasional cutting and trimming of trees, and finally (3) the development of recommendations for evidence-based injury prevention strategies targeting older farmers who conduct occasional woodcutting activities.
The summary of older Indiana farmer fatalities identified a total of 388 fatalities reported between 1988 and 2017 with an increase in the number of reported fatalities over the period of 2012-2017. Tractors were identified as the most common source of injury (40.5%) with tractor overturns involved in no fewer than 86 cases or 22.2% of all cases. Older farmer fatalities for occasional woodcutters accounted for 40 fatalities with the cutting and trimming of trees to be the most common cause of injury (67.5%).
Core desired safety competencies were identified that were used to develop injury prevention strategies based upon the summary of injuries, areas of concerns reported in the review of literature and the results gathered from the summaries of Indiana older farmers killed while performing woodcutting activities. A pilot evidence-based intervention instructional presentation was developed with the assistance of a panel of experts to be used by Extension Educators to increase awareness of the target population of current safety practices relating to woodlot activities.