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Development of a Public Database for Lone Agricultural Worker Incident Reporting

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

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200675.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200675)
Authors:   Aaron J Etienne, William Field
Keywords:   Incident case analysis, incident reporting, lone agricultural workers.

Abstract. This research will explore the magnitude and human impact of agricultural incidents where the victim was determined to be alone at the time of injury or fatality. Underreporting on whether the victim was alone at the time of an incident continues to be a major problem in incident reporting. Discussion on the root causes and prevention strategies of alone agricultural incidents is lacking in the literature. Based on preliminary study and review of the literature, the majority of incident reports fully negate to include whether the victim was alone. Despite advancements in communication technologies, incident frequency and fatality rate of lone agricultural workers has remained consistently high. Hazards associated with working alone in agriculture include: 1) distance from emergency medical services (EMS) in remote areas, 2) lack of communication between the worker and their superior, coworker, or family member, 3) difficult access to communication devices if entangled, entrapped, or otherwise impaired, and 4) poor cellular coverage and remote or hilly/ wooded areas. As a victim that was working alone is often found hours or days after the incident occurred, fatality rate was found to be significantly higher than situations in which others were present. A summary of research on the impact of lone agricultural worker incidents including medical and resource costs, amount of labor time lost, as well as family and community impact will be assembled to assess the scope and magnitude of this problem. The purpose of conducting this summary will be to develop training materials and guidance on assistive technologies and equipment to be utilized by both lone agricultural workers and first responders.

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