Objective To describe the frequency and circumstances of work-related, fatal injuries among older farmers in Canada (1991 to 2012).
Methods This is a descriptive, epidemiologic analysis of data from the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting System. The circumstances (people involved, mechanism of injury, place and time) of farmers aged 60 and older who died from work-related injuries from 1991 through 2012 were examined. Age-adjusted mortality rates were calculated using the Canadian farm population as a standard.
Results The 910 work-related fatalities observed produced an overall mortality rate of 32.8 per 1 00 000 population per year, three times higher than younger farmers. Almost all of those who died (95%) were men. Farm owner-operators accounted for 77% of the deaths (where the relationship of the person to the farm owner was reported (89%)). Leading mechanisms of fatal injury included tractor rollovers (22%), being run over by machinery (21%) and being struck or crushed by objects (7%). Many older farmers appeared to be working alone at the time of injury (68%).
Conclusions The data suggest that older farmers died while performing tasks common to general farm work, that most were owner-operators, and that many were working alone at the time of death. The fatality burden in this stratum of the farm population continues to be high; the development of innovative strategies to reduce injury in this population needs to continue.
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