Evaluation of risk factors in fatal accidents in agriculture

I. Arana, J. Mangado, P. Arnal, S. Arazuri, J. R. Alfaro, C. Jarén


Many fatal accidents happen in agriculture and some of them are not off icially recorded. The aim of this research was to compare official to real data about fatal accidents in agriculture and to characterize and evaluate the main risk factors associated with them. A comparative study of 388 fatal accidents related to agricultural machinery, occurred in Spain during the last five years, has been conducted. Official records only account for 61.85% of the deaths. Older people are the social group with the highest risk but children and nonfarmers are risk groups too. The main cause of death was the overturn of tractors lacking roll-over protective structures (ROPS) since from 272 fatal overturns detected; only one occurred in tractors equipped with homologated ROPS. Many overturns happened while tractor driving along roads and tracks. Terrain conditions as slopes, ditches and obstacles are also risk factors. A total of eleven risk factors have been characterized but the concurrence of at least two of them is required to cause a fatal accident. Most accidents are caused by the overlapping of three or more risk factors. Therefore, accidents are preventable when trying to circumvent all described risk factors because the probability of concurrence of at least two decreases.


age; cause; machinery; overturning; ROPS; tractor

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2010083-1254