Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Workplace Health and Safety Information—Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

Improving Methods for Traumatic Injury Surveillance in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

NEC States


Burden: Agriculture, forestry and fishing (AgFF) have the highest fatality rates due to traumatic injury of any industry in the nation, nearly eight times higher than the average worker fatality rate (23.9/100,000 full time employees (FTE) versus 3.3/100,000 FTE).1 

Need: There is a recognized gap in injury surveillance for the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries. This lack of ongoing surveillance for non-fatal traumatic injuries is particularly important, as research9 has indicated that for every fatal traumatic injury there are multiple non-fatal events.10 NEC researchers have found that surveillance systems that use multiple sources of data are more effective in capturing not only case counts, but detail that is useful for intervention prioritizing and planning.11 

Impact: This study builds upon previous research11-13 that used a variety of data sources to identify injuries for the agricultural and logging industries.12,14 Surveillance is the foundation of public health practice and is a necessity in setting research priorities, evaluating interventions, and fostering the most effective allocation of public health dollars.

The long-term goal of this study is to improve the low-cost injury surveillance methods for the agricultural, forestry and commercial fishing industries in the Northeast. This will enhance understanding of the causes of traumatic injuries, identify high-risk groups, and allow for ongoing program evaluation. If successful, similar methods can be employed to capture data in other areas of the country and for other occupational groups. To achieve the overarching aims of this proposal, several data sources will be combined. Short-term goals include optimizing narrative keyword searches, investigating state and regional trauma databanks, and exploring the utility of ICD10 E-Codes for AgFF injury identification. Lastly, the study will collect injury and illness data using a survey designed by the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), which will permit regional comparisons of injury data. This research is innovative as it takes a multi-faceted, low-cost approach to identifying and classifying occupational injuries.

Specific Aims

Specific Aim 1: To broaden the geographic scope of the current NEC surveillance

Specific Aim 2: To broaden the industry scope of the surveillance to include commercial fishing

Specific Aim 3: To refine electronic search methodology for agricultural, forestry and fishing injuries in administrative data sets

Specific Aim 4: To conduct a survey on agricultural injury

NORA priorities15 addressed

Strategic Goals 1 (Surveillance)


Research Team

Paul Jenkins, PhD                 

Erika Scott, PhD                    

Liane Hirabayashi, MA

Nicole Krupa