Farmer and rancher
Farmer and rancher
Tractor accidents take a toll on farmers.
Fatality rate per 100,000 workers: 41
Median wage: $65,960

In late July, a 53-year-old Iowa farmer was trying to separate a bull from the rest of the cattle when it charged and severely injured her. She died three days later.

Death caused by livestock is one of several dangers farmers and ranchers face every day, according to John Lundell, of the Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa. Even more common, however, are fatalities caused by tractor rollovers, he said.

"Many of these are preventable," said Lundell. "In Scandinavia, all tractors have rollover protection and they rarely have problems."

In the United States, only new tractors are required to have the protection and, according to Lundell, farmers are more likely to devote their old tractors to rougher jobs like mowing around drainage ditches, the very spots where rollovers are more likely to occur.

Another common fatal accident occurs during harvest season, when farmers and workers are filling silos and grain bins with the fall crops, he said. Sometimes, said Lundell, grain gets encrusted at the top and workers have to kick it free. If they fall in, they can die.

"It's like quicksand,'' he said. "You quickly become engulfed and there's nothing to grab onto. You get asphyxiated; you drown in the grain."



Last updated August 26 2011: 11:48 AM ET
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