Just one year after Indiana’s safest-ever year for farming, agriculture-related fatalities tripled in the Hoosier State.
A study from Purdue University shows the number of deaths on farms increased from 8 in 2006 to 24 in 2007.
Kathleen Dutro is a spokesperson for the Indiana Farm Bureau. She says there have been previous fluctuations in the fatality rate. One reason for the jump, she says, could be the longer hours farmers work when planting seasons are shortened by weather.
“We did have a late planting season last year, I don’t know if that might have had a factor,” says Dutro. “We had a late freeze and we had some wet weather. We have some wet weather this year, too. It is true that when people push themselves, bad stuff can happen.”
Indiana’s farm death rate for 2007 comes out to nearly 17 deaths for every 100 thousand workers. The national average is just over 21 deaths per 100 thousand workers.