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Estimating the Cost of Agricultural Morbidity in Maine and New Hampshire

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 24(1): 3-11. (doi: 10.13031/jash.12146) @2018
Authors:   Nathan M. Jones, Erika E. Scott, Nicole Krupa, Paul L. Jenkins
Keywords:   Agriculture, Economic burden, Maine, New Hampshire, Passive surveillance.

Abstract. This article provides an estimate for the economic costs of agricultural injuries sustained in the states of Maine and New Hampshire between the years 2008 and 2010. The authors used a novel dataset of 562 agriculturally related occupational injuries, and cost estimates were generated using the CDC‘s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Individual cases from the dataset that did not match the query options for WISQARS were excluded. Of the 562 agricultural injuries identified in the dataset, 361 met the WISQARS criteria. The remaining 201 cases were judged to be incompatible with the WISQARS query criteria. Significant differences (p < 0.0001) were found between the median costs of eight types of injury. Amputations (median = $70,077) and fractures (median = $13,365) were found to be the most expensive types of injury. The total cost of the 361 injuries for which estimates were available was $6,342,270. Injuries that reportedly involved machinery were found to be more expensive than injuries caused by animals. This article highlights the difference in the total cost of injury between types of injuries and demonstrates that agricultural injuries were a significant economic burden for Maine and New Hampshire for the years 2008-2010. These data can be used to direct future preventive efforts. Finally, this article suggests that WISQARS is a powerful tool for estimating injury costs without requiring access to treatment or billing records.

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