Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.
If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.
Occupational Injury Rates Among Hired Farmworkers
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. Special Issue (1):39-46 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15373) @1998
Authors: D. Villarejo
Keywords: California, Hired farmworkers, Incidence rates, Injuries, Workers compensation
A new method for determining occupational injury incidence rates among hired
farmworkers is presented. The method relies exclusively on reports pertaining to all
paid claims by hired farmworkers under workers compensation insurance and is
sufficiently specific to determine incidence rates for persons employed in each of 14
different types of agricultural commodities.
(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)
The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB)
provided summaries of case reports including injury date, type of injury, body part
affected, nature of injury, weekly earnings of claimant, medical payments, indemnity
payments (if any), and the Risk Classification code in which the injury occurred, which
is a type of categorization of the commodity group in which the injury occurred. In
addition, the WCIRB provided total wages paid by all employers in each risk
classification code as a surrogate for direct measurement of exposure. The number of
reported paid claims under workers compensation insurance by hired farmworkers in
California for the period 1978-1994 totaled 673,316.
Aggregate wages and average weekly earnings for each risk classification code were
used to determine annual average employment (FTE). The total number of reported
paid claims within each classification code was then utilized to compute the incidence
rate for occupational injury in the respective category. From these data an overall
incidence rate for California hired farmworkers is calculated.
The 1994 incidence rates for non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses found
using this method ranged from a high of 19,660 cases per 100,000 FTE for stock farm
and feed yard workers to a low of 4,440 cases per 100,000 FTE for berry farmworkers.
Overall, the incidence rate among all California hired farm workers in 1994 was found
to be 10,546 per 100,000 FTE. These results compare favorably to other recent
determinations of incidence rates for injury among hired farmworkers.