Farming is a dangerous job. Farming families live and play very close to workspaces where machinery is operated and animals are kept. Because of this, safety must come first.


  • There are about 18 farm deaths every year.
  • Almost 90% of farm deaths were men and boys.
  • 47% of the deaths were to an owner/operator.
  • 23% of the deaths were to a child of an owner/operator.
  • 68% of farms deaths involved farm vehicles and machines.
  • The top five causes of Agricultural fatalities were:
    • Machine run-overs (16%)
    • Machine roll-overs (16%)
    • Pinned or struck by machine (13%)
    • Animal-related (9%)
    • Machine entanglements (8%)
  • For every Agricultural injury death, there were 25 hospital admissions and 11 major trauma injury admissions.
  • Agriculture injury major trauma admissions accounted for 11% of all agriculture-related admissions.

Prevention Messages

  • Prevent run overs
    • Keep children 6 years old and younger off farm worksites and driveways.
    • Before you get off a tractor, stop the motor and pocket the key.
  • Refuse to carry or be a passenger on tractors or off-highway vehicles.
  • Drive a tractor with rollover protective structures ROPS. Always use the seatbelt.
  • Move slowly and quietly around animals. Always be alert around livestock and have an escape route planned.
  • To protect young children, lock up barns, farm shops, chemical storage areas, livestock pens, grain bins/silos, and fence up open water areas to prevent drowning.
  • For children 7 years and older, find out if they are ready to do chores by answering questions from

Resources & Toolkits

Our Research

  • What We Are Not Talking About: An Evaluation of Prevention Messaging in Print Media Reporting on Agriculture Injuries and Fatalities
  • Alberta Farm Health Surveillance Study
  • There have been few occupational health cohort studies of farmers in Canada. In 1998, a cohort of farmers was identified in Alberta using data linkage between Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Agriculture. The goal of this study is to examine farmers’ health experience over time, and specifically to examine injury, respiratory and mental health outcomes in this population. This study will highlight the health risks among farmers which will inform the development of effective interventions. Through the partnering of Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Health and Wellness, Western Regional Training Centre for Health Services Research, and Public Health and the Rural Ecosystem, data collection for this project is underway. For more information, contact Dr. Don Voaklander at

  • Farm Work Exposure to Older Farmers in Canada
  • Older farmers are a high risk group for farm injury and fatality. The average age of farm owner-operators in Canada is approximately 55 years, thus any research that can inform prevention is warranted. The purpose of this study is to examine the work exposure of older farmers (aged 55 and older) from a cohort of Saskatchewan farm families. Implications for this research include study information being used to inform best practice for injury prevention among older farmers. Two peer-reviewed papers have recently been published from this research, and a further research project will examine how job tasking changes as farmers age. This research is being conducted via partnerships through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Queen’s University, and the University of Saskatchewan. For more information, contact Dr. Don Voaklander at or refer to the following references:

      Day, L., Voaklander, D., Sim, M., Wolfe, R., Langley, J., Dosman, J., Hagel, L., Ozanne-Smith. Risk factors for work related injury among male farmers. J. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2009, 66;5:312-18.

      Voaklander, D., Dosman, J., Hagel. L., Warsh, J., Pickett, W. Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study Team. Farm work exposure among male farmers in Saskatchewan. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, 53;7:706-15.

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