Agricultural Operations

Michigan is second only to California in terms of diversity of crop production.  Michigan produces over 300 different agricultural commodities.  Agriculture ranks among the most dangerous industries. Between 2003 and 2011, 5,816 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries in the US.1,2

  • In 2011, 570 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries.1 The fatality rate for agricultural workers was 7 times higher than the fatality rate for all workers in private industry; agricultural workers had a fatality rate of 24.9 deaths per 100,000, while the fatality rate for all workers was 3.5.3
  • The leading cause of death for farmworkers between 1992 and 2009 was tractor overturns, accounting for over 90 deaths annually. The most effective way to prevent tractor overturn deaths is the use of Roll-Over Protective Structures; however in 2006 only 59% of tractors used on farms in the US were equipped with these devices.2
  • Every day, about 243 agricultural workers suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment.2
  • In 2011, the injury rate for agricultural workers was over 40 percent higher than the rate for all workers. Crop production agricultural workers' injury rates were 5.5 per 100 workers. Animal production agricultural workers' injury rates were 6.7 per 100 workers. The rate for all workers was 3.8.4
  • Young workers who live and work on farms are also exposed to potentially dangerous farm-related hazards. Farm operators who hire youth to work on their farm should be aware of all applicable child labor laws.
  • Approximately one half of farmworkers are Hispanic. MIOSHA requires that employers conduct all required training of workers in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. MIOSHA lists Spanish-language outreach resources on the following pages: MIOSHA en Espanol Publicacion (MIOSHA Spanish Publications).

Agricultural operations are covered by several MIOSHA Safety and Health standards. You can view all of the applicable MIOSHA standards, preambles to final rules, directives and standard interpretations for agricultural operations, as well as other MIOSHA standards applicable to Agriculture here.

Note: For all Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data in this Safety and Health Topics Page, "agricultural worker" refers to any worker in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (GP2AFH) industry. These numbers are the best available representation of workers in the agricultural industry.

Related Standards

GI-51 Agricultural Tractors (29 C.F.R. §1928.51)

GI-53 Farm Field Equipment (29 C.F.R. §1928.57)

GI-55 Agricultural Operations (29 C.F.R. §1928.21 & §1928.110)

OH-700 Agriculture

OH-501 Agricultural Operations

OH-511 Temporary Labor Camps

GI-37 Accident Prevention Signs & Tags

GI-51 Logging

GI-78 Storage & Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia

OH-309 Cadmium

CS-42 GI-92 OH-430 Hazard Communication

 
CET Publications & Resources Agriculture Industry Confined Space Hazards Fact Sheet (CET-0188) (doc / pdf)
MIOSHA Regulations for Agricultural Field (CET-5920) (doc)
MIOSHA's Young Worker Initiative
MIOSHA Heat Stress (CET-5964) (doc)
MIOSHA's Falls Fact Sheet (doc)
 
OSHA Resources

All-Terrain Vehicle Hazards during Farm Work*. OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3758), (2015).

Backing Up Farm Vehicles and Equipment Safely*. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3733), (2014).

Agriculture: Protecting Farmworkers from Tractor and Harvester Hazards*. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3706), (2014). (Spanish*)

Protecting Workers from Tripod Orchard Ladder Injuries*. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3705), (2014). (Spanish*)

Safe Use of Tripod Orchard Ladders (PDF). OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3728), (2014).

Protecting Workers from Tractor Hazards*. OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3835), (2015).

Heat Illness Prevention Training Guide, A Lesson Plan for Employers*. OSHA Publication 3437, (2011). (Spanish*)

Heat Stress*. OSHA QuickCard™. (Spanish* (OSHA Publication 3417, (2014)) | Vietnamese* (OSHA Publication 3389, (2011))).

Heat Outreach Wallet Card*. OSHA Publication 3556, (2012). (Spanish* (OSHA Publication 3565, (2012)) | Portuguese* (OSHA Publication 3663, (2013))).

Heat Safety Illustrated, Low-Literacy (Construction/Agriculture)*. OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3422), (2011). (Spanish* (OSHA Publication 3423, (2011))).

Heat Illness: Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat (PDF). OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication FS-3743), (2014).

Heat Illness: Stopping for Water Keeps You Going, Community Poster*. OSHA Publication 3435, (2011).

Heat Hazards: Working Outdoors in Warm Climates (PDF). OSHA Fact Sheet, (2005).

Heat Illness: Health Effects of Heat Worksite, Training Poster*. OSHA Publication 3431, (2011).

Cotton Press: Fatal Facts*. OSHA Publication 3679, (2013).

Farmworker Electrocution: Fatal Facts*. OSHA Publication 3817, (2015).

Green Tobacco Sickness*. OSHA Publication 3765, (2015).

Personal Protective Equipment*. OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3603), (2000). (Spanish* | Portuguese* (2010))

Combustible Dust Explosions*. OSHA Fact Sheet.

Dangers of Engulfment and Suffocation in Grain Bins Hazard Alert (PDF)
Grain Handling Guide (PDF). OSHA Publication 3103, (1996).

Grain Bins: Worker Entry into Grain Storage Bins (PDF). OSHA Fact Sheet.
Chemical Grain Fumigant. (January 6, 2015).

Tree Care Work Hazards (PDF | EPUB** | MOBI**). OSHA Hazard Bulletin (Publication HB-3731, (2014). (Spanish (PDF | EPUB** | MOBI**) Publication HB-3740, (2014)).

Tree Care Work - Know the Hazards*. OSHA Publication 3752, (December 2014). (Spanish*).

Tree Trimming and Removal (PDF). OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3301), (2005). (Spanish (PDF) (2005) | Portuguese (PDF*) (OSHA Publication 3601, (2012))).

Tree Trimming*. OSHA Fact Sheet.

 
Other Resources

State Resources
Specialized research and education resources are provided at:

Ag Safety & Health, University of Idaho. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. University of Iowa
Agricultural Safety and Health Program. University of Minnesota
Agricultural Safety and Health. Pennsylvania State University Extension
Agricultural Safety & Health Program. Kansas State University
Agricultural Safety and Health. The University of Missouri Extension Rural Safety and Health Program
Agricultural Safety & Health Program. The Ohio State University Extension
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station: Farm Safety
The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAM/NEC). Cooperstown, New York
The Southern Coastal Agromedicine, North Carolina Agromedicine Institute. East Carolina University, NC State University, NC AT&T State University
Texas Department of Insurance, Free Safety and Health Publications
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety. University of California at Davis

OSHA's Susan Harwood Training Grant Resources
The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program provides funding to nonprofit organizations for training and educating workers and employers about safety and health hazards in their workplaces and their rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act. The program focuses on improving recognition, avoidance, and prevention of hazards for workers in underserved, low-literacy, and high-hazard industries. Harwood Grant awardees have developed training resources for agricultural workers in the following topic areas:

Cold Temperatures
Working in the Cold*. Also in Spanish: Trabajar en el Frio*: Farmworker Legal Services
Eye Health
Eye Health and Safety for Farm Workers. Also in Spanish: Ojos Seguros y Sanos*: Farmworker Legal Services
Eye Safety Handout. Also in Spanish: Seguridad el Ojo*: Farmworker Legal Services

Hazard Communication
Hazard Communication Training Curriculum* and Test*. Also in Spanish: Examen*: Worker Justice Center

Heat Stress / Heat Illness
Working in the Sun & Heat (English and Spanish)* and Test*. Also in Spanish: Prueba*: Farmworker Legal Services
Heat Stress Training Curriculum* and Test*. Also in Spanish: Prueba*: Worker Justice Center
How Can we Protect Our Families from Dangers in the Fields? (English and Spanish)*: Farmworker Justice
Your Rights in Preventing Heat Illness and How to Protect Yourself*. Also in Spanish: Sus Derechos Contra las Enfermedades Causadas por el Calor y Como Protegerse*: California Rural Legal Assistance
Heat Stress Manual*. Also in Spanish: Entrenamiento sobre el Calor para las Personas que Trabajan Afuera - Manuel*: Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)
Heat Stress Posters*. Also in Spanish: Entrenamiento sobre el Calor para las Personas que Trabajan Afuera - Carteles*: Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)
Protect Yourself from Heat Stress - Flipchart*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Heat Stress Trainer Guide and Workbook*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Train-the-Trainer Course Materials*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Sun Protection Handout (English and Spanish)*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Protect Yourself from Heat Stress Trifold Leaflet (English and Spanish)*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Water/Rest/Shade Poster (English and Spanish)*: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
OSHA
Overview of OSHA*: and Test*: Farmworker Legal Services
OSHA Rights Handout*: Worker Justice Center
Pesticides
How Can we Protect Our Families from Dangers in the Fields? (English and Spanish)*: Farmworker Justice
Workplace Safety
Workplace safety brochure*: Farmworker Legal Services