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.

Work-Related Stress as a Risk Factor for Farm Injuries in the Central United States

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 29(1): 1-13. (doi: 10.13031/jash.14951) @2023
Authors:   He Bai, Cheryl Beseler, Lorena Baccaglini, Risto Heikki Rautiainen
Keywords:   Agriculture, Fatigue, Hearing Loss, Injury, Musculoskeletal discomfort, Stress.


Operators reporting stress had 1.9 times as many injuries per year compared to those who did not report stress.

Stress, sleep deprivation, and fatigue showed a similar positive association with injuries.

Hearing loss and exposure to animal and/or chemical-based allergens were also risk factors for injury.

Musculoskeletal pain/discomfort was strongly associated with injuries, making it a potential risk factor or a consequence.

Abstract. This study evaluated the association of self-reported occupational stress and injury among farm and ranch operators in the central United States. Randomly sampled operators received mail surveys with questions related to injuries, chronic health conditions, work exposures, and preventive measures in 2018 and 2020. Injury risk factors were analyzed using Poisson regression analysis. Out of 6,744 participants, 836 (12%) reported at least one injury in the past 12 months and 1,766 (26%) reported work-related stress. The percentage of those reporting stress was 24% among those with no injuries, 36% among those with one injury, and 66% among those with two or more injuries. Similar percentages across the three injury categories were found for sleep deprivation (21%, 30%, and 51%) and fatigue (25%, 39%, and 66%). A high perceived stress level was a risk factor for injury in the final adjusted model (adjusted Rate Ratio (aRR): 1.93, 95% CI: 1.65 to 2.25) when controlling for hearing loss (aRR: 1.25, CI: 1.25 to 1.75) and exposure to animal and/or chemical based allergens (aRR: 1.49, CI: 1.17 to 1.91). With musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) in the model, the association of stress and injuries was attenuated (aRR: 1.54, CI: 1.32 to 1.79) while MSS had a strong association with injuries (aRR: 3.79, CI: 3.00 to 4.78). Stress, sleep deprivation, and fatigue were associated with injuries in a dose-response manner. Preventing injuries among farmers and ranchers requires a focus on stress reduction and related health conditions.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)