Agricultural Injuries Cost Us All!
The EOP Program helps students, teachers, parents and other community members to see the INDIVIDUAL and the SOCIAL COSTS of every injury.
For Example, ATV incidents including collisions and overturns were responsible for 15,000 fatalities from 1982 to 2002, of which one-third of those killed were youth under 16 years of age. Helmets may reduce risk of death by 42% and non-fatal injury by 64%. The cost of a $55 helmet can avert millions of dollars in medical costs and lost wages.
Four Types of Injuries
This is an example of a tractor roll-over, which is quite common in areas with sloped topography (hills). These types of injuries are often fatal because there is very little reaction time for the passenger once the tractor has begun to roll.
One of the issues to which the SCAHIP pays particular attention is the retrofitting of a Rollover Protection System (ROPS) on tractors that were not equipped with one at the production factory. A ROPS has been proven to lower the death rate in tractor roll-overs.
2. Motor Vehicle & Farm Equipment Collision
Automobile accidents are something we hear about on the radio or see on TV every day. Generally speaking, injuries resulting from vehicle collisions occur due to a high rate of speed. However, farm equipment (i.e. tractors) cannot travel nearly as fast as regular motor vehicles, yet the result of a motor vehicle and tractor collision are just as damaging, if not more so.
The weight and size of most farm tractors are much greater than most vehicles on rural roads/highways. One particular case simulation used in the EOP materials focuses on this exact situation, provides the logistics of the collision described in the story, and ends with a very possible conclusion.
3. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury is one of the most devastating and costly injuries a person might endure while working on a farm. Often, the victim is no longer capable of caring for themselves independently, which can put enormous strain on their family, both emotionally and financially.
If the victim is the primary provider of income for the family and can no longer perform the necessary tasks on the farm, then the family must face the decision to hire the labor, lease the land to other farm workers, sell the property, etc. Both the individual and social costs of this type of injury are incredible.
4. Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is something that does not receive as much attention as the other three types of injuries, but damage to the ears is something that is not rural specific. Anyone who subjects their self to loud noises (i.e. concerts, MP3 players, machinery) is at risk of hearing damage. Unlike wounds resulting from the other types of injuries, which will heal over time, hearing damage is irreversible and can only be improved with a hearing aid.
The case simulation used in the EOP materials for this type of injury depicts the decay of a farmer's hearing over many years of being around farm equipment without using any type of hearing protection. However, it is not just the farmer which suffers in the story. He also puts the people around him in danger because of his poor hearing.