Well over half the fatalities on farms stem from tractor accidents, according to NIOSH. On ranches, it's all-terrain vehicle accidents that are most likely to kill workers.
Still, said Don Duval, a grain farmer in southern Illinois and president of the White County Farm Bureau, farming has gotten much safer since he started working his own place 40 years ago.
One example he cited: Rollover protection is available for most tractors now -- either built-in for new vehicles or as a retrofit for older models.
Besides such technical advances, safety awareness has helped as well, said Duval. Accidents still happen, though.
"Anytime you're operating heavy equipment, there's inherent danger," he said. "But there's been a lot of consolidation so there are fewer farmers to educate now. That makes it easier."
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