Nonfatal occupational injury among California farm operators

Stephen A Mccurdy, Jeffrey A. Farrar, James J. Beaumont, Steven J. Samuels, Rochelle S. Green, Lisa C. Scott, Marc B Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We conducted a population-based telephone survey addressing farm-work-related (FWR) injuries among California farm operators. Of 1947 participants (80.4% response), 135 farm operators reported 160 FWR injuries in the preceding year, yielding a one-year cumulative incidence for any FWR injury of 6.9% (95% CI 5.8%-8.2%), or a mean 8.2 FWR injuries per 100 farmers in the preceding year (95% CI 6.8-9.7). Multiple injury events in the same individual occurred more frequently than predicted by chance. Sprains and strains (29.4%) were the most frequently reported injury and predominantly involved the back. Overexertion represented the most frequent external cause (24.2%), followed by machinery (14.3%), falls (13.0%), and animals (12.4%). Factors associated with FWR injury included white ethnicity (OR 3.19; 95% CI 1.38-7.36), increased annual hours worked on the farm, low levels of administrative work, and increased percentage of time working with livestock. FWR injury experience of California farm operators is comparable with that reported for other agricultural populations. Above-expected frequency of multiple injuries supports involvement of personal or environmental risk factors. Preventive efforts should focus on higher-risk groups and preventing overexertion and muscle strain and injury related to machinery, falls, and animals, especially livestock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-119
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Agricultural worker
  • Agriculture
  • Farmer
  • Injury
  • Workplace accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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