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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Iowa: Studies May Be Underreporting Farm Injuries

University of Iowa College of Public Health researchers have determined workers’ compensation records alone are not enough when it comes to identifying work-related farm injuries. The articlepublished online in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine in June 2019, is unexpected because researchers commonly use workers’ compensation information to determine the number and type of incidents occurring within a certain occupation. However, researchers have found that this resource does not include the majority of farming-related injuries in Iowa.

Principal investigator Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa, says this is important for advancing scientific knowledge because it contradicts the sole use of this commonly mined resource. If investigators are collecting and analyzing insufficient data, then their results could be biased and inaccurate. The study also justifies the need for researchers to use multiple sources for their work to glean a better picture of injuries occurring on the farm.

“These findings are important for researchers, but they are also important for insurance providers who might also underestimate workplace injury risk among their agricultural clients,” said Dr. Peek-Asa. “Agricultural clients are using other products, such as property or home insurance, to cover these costs.”

The research focused on data from Iowa that allowed the researcher to identify both farm-related and occupationally-related injuries. Each state has its own regulations when it comes to reporting workers’ compensation data.

Read the paper published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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