Livestock-handling injuries in agriculture: An analysis of Colorado workers' compensation data

Authors

  • David I. Douphrate PhD, MPT, MBA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
    • Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, 1681 Campus Delivery, Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1681.
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  • John C. Rosecrance PhD, PT, CPE,

    1. Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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  • Lorann Stallones MPH, PhD,

    1. Department of Psychology, Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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  • Stephen J. Reynolds PhD, CIH,

    1. Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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  • David P. Gilkey PhD, DC, CPE

    1. Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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  • Research Institution: Colorado State University, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Abstract

Background

Previous studies have reported that livestock-handling injuries are among the most severe of agricultural injuries. This study identifies the costs, characteristics, and contributing factors associated with livestock-handling injuries among Colorado dairy farmers, cattle/livestock raisers, and cattle dealers.

Methods

A 10-year (1997–2006) history of Colorado's workers' compensation claims data was used for analysis. Descriptive analyses of livestock-handling injury claims were performed. Claim cost analysis was also conducted. The agent–host–environment epidemiological model was used to analyze injury event descriptions.

Results

A total of 1,114 livestock-handling claims were analyzed. Claims associated with milking parlor tasks represented nearly 50% of injuries among dairy workers. Claims associated with riding horseback, sorting/penning cattle, and livestock-handling equipment represented high proportions of livestock-handling injuries among cattle/livestock raisers and cattle dealers. Claims associated with livestock-handling represented the highest percentage of high-cost and high-severity injuries in all three sectors.

Conclusions

Livestock-handling injuries are a significant problem, more costly, and result in more time off work than other causes of agricultural injuries. There is a strong and compelling need to develop cost-effective interventions to reduce the number of livestock-handling injuries in agriculture. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:391–407, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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