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Supplemental surveillance: a review of 2015 and 2016 agricultural injury data from news reports on
  1. Bryan Weichelt1,
  2. Serap Gorucu2
  1. 1 National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI), Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA
  2. 2 Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bryan Weichelt, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI), Marshfield, WI 54449, USA; weichelt.bryan{at}


Background Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry is the most hazardous occupational sector in the USA. Even with this level of occupational risk, several national and state-level occupational injury surveillance programmes have been eliminated, leaving regional efforts to analyse multiple sources and compile data on agricultural injuries and fatalities. No up-to-date centralised national database for agricultural injuries/fatalities in the USA currently exists.

Objective Using the public data on, this study considered a wide range of variables to examine fatalities and injuries of the industry in 2015 and 2016. The results reported in this paper sought to explore and understand common data elements of US news reports.

Methods As of 5 April 2017, more than 3000 articles across 36 years were contained in the dataset. We selected 2 years to review, 2015 and 2016, which represented the most complete years to date; 2015 was the first year in which systematic collection was initiated by the team. Data were coded based on the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System source and event/exposure types.

Results A total of 1345 victims were involved in 1044 incidents. Leading sources of injuries were vehicles and machinery, and the most common event/exposure type was transportation.

Conclusions This study demonstrated that data from is consistent with previous literature, and it can supply up-to-date data as an open-source surveillance supplement, disseminated for health and safety stakeholders.

  • surveillance
  • agriculture
  • safety
  • injury
  • news report
  • media
  • trauma
  • database

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed to this manuscript as follows: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, data acquisition, codirection of the statistical analysis and codirection of interpretation of data; (2) drafted major portions of the article; and (3) provided final approval of the version to be published.

  • Funding This research was funded in part by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS), the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASCHA) safety grant and donors of the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. In the "Analysis" section, we have corrected the following sentence: "The primary source of injury and, when applicable, the secondary sources of injuries were determined from the article text" ("text" has replaced "title").