Farmers and ranchers
farmer, dangerous jobs
Fatality rate per 100,000 workers: 25.3
Median wage: $70,010

Working on a farm or a ranch is labor-intensive and machines help lift much of that burden -- but they are also the cause of many fatal accidents.

Ranch hands use all-terrain vehicles to reach distant fields and even to herd cattle. The use of ATVs has become so widespread that in states like Montana, they surpassed horses as the biggest source of injuries on ranches, according to Gene Surber, who teaches safety at large agricultural organizations such as the Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization for cattle ranching families.

Horses still cause a lot of injuries, though. Many horses are poorly trained and ridden hard. But cowboys think they can ride anything, said Surber. They'll saddle up an unruly horse and get thrown.

On farms, machinery, like tractors, tend to be the culprit in most accidents. Many occur when drivers back the big machines over other workers they didn't see, said Les Graham, Surber's partner.

Last year, 260 farmers and ranchers died on the job, the Labor Department said.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics' "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2011." (Preliminary results).
- Last updated September 20 2012 11:59 AM ET
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