UC-Davis Study: 77% of Farm Workers’ Injuries, Illnesses Unreported
UC-Davis researchers have found that more than 75% of injuries and illnesses among U.S. agriculture workers are not reported, according to a study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
For the study, researchers examined:
- A quarterly census of workers and wages;
- Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor; and
- Surveys of agriculture workers.
Details of Findings
The study found that 77.6% of injuries and illnesses sustained by such workers go unreported by federal agencies.
The study attributed the lack of reporting to:
- The federal government's focus on mid- to large-sized agriculture employers;
- A lack of information on specific injuries; and
- The part-time nature of some agricultural jobs.
The study noted that the discrepancy in reporting such incidents creates health and safety risks for agriculture workers.
In a release, J. Paul Leigh, the study's lead author, said, "Whatever anyone might have assumed about gaps in government statistics for agriculture, our study shows that the problem is actually about three times bigger than previously suspected" (van der Meer, Sacramento Business Journal, 4/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.