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Gender Differences in Agricultural Injuries

Updated July 2008

In the fifteen years from 1990-2004, 1,530 males and 145 females were fatally injured on Canadian farms and ranches. Between April 1990 and March 2000, 12,305 males and 2,525 females were admitted to hospital because of agricultural injuries. Males are far more likely than females to be killed or hospitalized as a result of agricultural injuries. They represented 91.3% of all agricultural fatalities and 83.0% of all agricultural hospitalizations.

In males, by far the most frequent cause of fatal agricultural injuries was machine rollovers (21.7%), followed by entanglements (8.6%), alighted operator runovers (7.1%), being pinned or struck by a machine (6.9%), and collisions (6.7%). For females, rollovers were a much smaller proportion of total fatalities (13.1%) than they were in males. The most common cause of fatal injuries among females was animal events (15.2%) and bystander runovers (15.2%), followed by collisions (13.8%), rollovers (13.1%), extra rider runovers (6.9%) and drownings (6.2%). Machine related fatalities were more frequent in males (70.4%) then in females (63.9%).

For males, the leading cause of hospitalized injuries was machine entanglements (17.0%), followed by animal events (16.4%), being pinned or struck by a machine 10%, falls from height (10%), and being struck by a non-machine object (7.1%). 50.8% of hospitalized injuries among males were machine-related. In contrast, most females were injured in animal events (34.7%), falls from height (11.1%), falls on the same level (10.5%), entanglements (6.7%), and being struck by a non-machine object (5.4%). Only 25.9% of hospitalized injuries to females were machine related. Most of the falls on the same level occurred in women aged 60 and over.

Dr. Helen Ward, collaborator for The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting believes that, “Education and training programs should be encouraged at both the provincial and regional levels to emphasize safe animal handling techniques and the dangers of operating farm machinery. For women, the major area of concern is animal-related injuries, particularly involving horses, whereas for men, reducing machinery-related hazards is a priority.”

This information is derived from data collected and analyzed by Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program collaborators and staff. CAIR is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and managed in cooperation with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.

For more information contact:
Dr. Rob Brison (via Deb Emerton),
The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting,
Department of Emergency Medicine, Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7
Tel: (613) 548-2389 Fax (613) 548-1381
Email: CAIR@kgh.kari.net www.CAIR.ca