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Fatal Agricultural Injuries in Pennsylvania, 2015-2017: A Comparative Analysis of Two Systems’ Data Collection Methods and Datasets

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 25(2): 53-61. (doi: 10.13031/jash.13165) @2019
Authors:   Serap Gorucu, Bryan Weichelt, Michael L. Pate
Keywords:   Agriculture, Fatality, Injury surveillance.

Abstract. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare 2015-2017 Pennsylvania agricultural fatal injury data and methods from two separate sources: the Pennsylvania Farm Fatality (PA-FF) dataset and the national AgInjuryNews (AIN) dataset. Between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017, a total of 104 agricultural fatalities were identified in Pennsylvania across both systems. Differences between the two systems included coding, such as victim age and demographics, as well as inclusion criteria, such as the time between the incident and victim death. Of the 104 agricultural fatalities, 73% were identified through the PA-FF dataset, and 53% were identified through the AIN dataset. AIN included a higher proportion of female victims and roadway incidents, whereas PA-FF included a significantly higher proportion of the identified Anabaptist cases (χ2 = 22.329, df = 2, p < 0.001). Although PA-FF may have an advantage by including death certificates, this study revealed that PA-FF alone missed mortality data and certain risk factors, such as roadway fatalities related to farm equipment. When comparing two datasets, the inclusion criteria should be considered. Supplemental surveillance programs such as these would benefit from a periodic review between two or more datasets to ensure that agricultural fatalities are captured more accurately.

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