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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 100–104 | Cite as

Farm Injuries and Fatalities in British Columbia, 1990–2000

  • Peter E. SaarEmail author
  • Helen Dimich-Ward
  • Karen D. Kelly
  • Donald C. Voaklander
Research

Abstract

Background

Farming is considered to be one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada and internationally, as it often involves work in a high-risk environment due to exposure to such hazards as machinery, large animals and noxious chemicals. The objective of this study was to describe the incidence and nature of farm-related deaths and injuries on British Columbian farms from 1990–2000, with reference to Canadian averages.

Methods

British Columbian farm fatalities and farm injury hospitalizations data from Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program for 1990–2000 were analyzed in conjunction with the 1996 and 2001 Canada Census of Agriculture. The incidence and nature of farm injuries were quantified and described for age, gender, cause of injury, primary diagnosis and agent of injury.

Results

There were 82 fatal injuries from 1990–2000 and 1,407 hospitalizations from 1991/92 to 1999/2000. No significant overall incidence trends were found during the study period. The rate of machinery-related injuries requiring hospitalization is lower in BC than in Canada as a whole. The net effect of higher than expected hospitalization rates in younger BC adults (age 20-49) and lower than expected hospitalization rates in older BC adults (age 70+) was a much slower increase in hospitalization rates as farmers get older.

Conclusion

The current data suggest that higher than expected non-machinery-related injuries result in higher hospitalization rates of young adult BC farmers. The potential impact of farm fatalities and injury in youth on loss of productivity and quality of life years emphasizes the need for education and prevention.

MeSH terms

Epidemiology agriculture wounds and injury accidents occupational equipment safety 

Résumé

Contexte

Au Canada et dans le reste du monde, on considère que la profession d’agriculteur est l’une des plus dangereuses, car le travail se fait souvent dans un environnement à risque élevé, où l’on est exposé à la machinerie, aux gros animaux et à des produits chimiques nocifs. Nous avons voulu décrire la fréquence et la nature des décès et des blessures causés par les accidents agricoles sur les fermes de la Colombie-Britannique entre 1990 et 2000 en les comparant à la moyenne canadienne.

Méthode

Nous avons analysé les décès et les hospitalisations pour blessures causés par les accidents agricoles en Colombie-Britannique d’après les données du Programme canadien de surveillance des blessures en milieu agricole (1990 à 2000) et les données du Recensement de l’agriculture du Canada (1996 et 2001). La fréquence et la nature des blessures en milieu agricole sont quantifiées et décrites selon l’âge, le sexe, la cause de la blessure, le diagnostic primaire et le facteur de blessure.

Résultats

Il y a eu 82 accidents mortels pendant la période de 1990 à 2000 et 1 407 hospitalisations entre 1991–1992 et 1999–2000. Nous n’avons observé aucune tendance générale significative quant à la fréquence des blessures pendant la période d’étude. Le taux de blessures dues à la machinerie agricole et nécessitant une hospitalisation était plus faible en Colombie- Britannique que dans l’ensemble du Canada. Des taux d’hospitalisation plus élevés que prévu chez les jeunes adultes et les adultes d’âge moyen de la Colombie-Britannique (20 à 49 ans) et plus faibles que prévu chez les adultes âgés de la province (70 ans et plus) ont eu pour effet net de réduire considérablement la hausse des taux d’hospitalisation avec l’âge des agriculteurs.

Conclusion

D’après les données actuelles, des taux plus élevés que prévu de blessures non causées par la machinerie agricole entraînent des taux d’hospitalisation supérieurs chez les agricultrices et les agriculteurs britanno-colombiens au début de l’âge adulte. Les blessures et les accidents agricoles mortels chez les jeunes contribuent à diminuer la productivité et le nombre d’années de qualité de vie, d’où la nécessité des mesures de sensibilisation et de prévention.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter E. Saar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helen Dimich-Ward
    • 2
  • Karen D. Kelly
    • 3
  • Donald C. Voaklander
    • 4
  1. 1.Northern Medical ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of AlbertaCanada

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