In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Agricultural Safety and Public Health

  • Introduction
  • Journals
  • Textbooks
  • Data Sources

Public Health Agricultural Safety and Public Health
Thomas A. Arcury, Taylor J. Arnold
  • LAST REVIEWED: 23 August 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 August 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0168


Agriculture is a hazardous industry for those employed on farms and for the communities in which those farms are located. Agricultural safety is a component of occupational safety and health (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Public Health “Occupational Safety and Health,” compiled by Arthur L. Frank). Agriculture and agricultural safety also affect public health beyond the farm enterprise. Agriculture involves structures, machinery and tools, chemicals, crops, animals and animal wastes, and food safety, all of which affect the health of agricultural workers, as well as the public health of the communities in which farms are located. Yet agriculture is exempt from many of the safety and labor regulations that apply to all other industries. Understanding agricultural safety and public health is made difficult by the complexity of agricultural production, since agricultural enterprises are diverse in size, business model, and commodity. Similarly, the populations involved in agriculture are diverse. Many farms are family businesses, with labor provided by adults and children. Farms also have permanent, seasonal, and migrant employees, with a large and growing percentage of employees being immigrants from Latin America (particularly Mexico), Asia, and eastern Europe. Much of agriculture occurs in rural communities, which have limited access to health care, but farming near and in urban locations for direct-to-consumer sales is expanding. Although agricultural production is hazardous for workers and communities, agricultural safety as a field of study and practice is relatively recent, with few educational programs focused on this domain. This bibliography primarily focuses on the United States and addresses (1) general resources that provide information on agricultural safety and public health, including governmental agencies, professional organizations, journals, and data sources; (2) selected hazards and topics important to agricultural safety and public health; and (3) special populations for whom agricultural safety and public health are important.

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