Animal-Related Activities as Risk Factors for Injuries Among Youth on Agricultural Operations

Andrew D. Ryan, Susan G. Gerberich, Bruce H. Alexander, Colleen M. Renier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Working with animals on agricultural operations is hazardous for youths. This study evaluated the associations between activities and injuries related to specific animal types. A case-control study within the Regional Rural Injury Study II included 425 youths (less than 20 years of age) with injuries related to their operation and 1,886 controls (randomly selected youths). Exposures of interest were collected for the months prior to injury events for cases and randomly selected months for controls, based on an injury incidence algorithm. Multivariate logistic regression characterized associations between specific animal-related activities and injury outcomes among youths who reported working with the same animals. Large proportions of cases and controls, respectively, worked with beef cattle (47%, 28%), followed by horses (28%, 14%), and dairy cattle (22%, 12%). Feeding was the primary activity associated with animals; over 80% of cases and controls were involved in this activity during relevant exposure months, followed by milking (63%, 44%) among those working with dairy cows and herding (81%, 61%) among beef cattle workers. Elevated risk of dairy cattle–related injury was associated with milking (odds ratio [OR]: 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0–6.6) whereas beef cattle–related injuries were associated with calving (OR: 4.2; 95% CI: 2.1–8.6) and footwork (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.0–4.9). Among youths working with animals, explicit activities can be identified that are associated with animal-specific injuries. The identification of relevant hazardous tasks is necessary for the development of effective prevention measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agromedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support was provided, in part, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (R01 CCR514375; R01 OH04270); and by the Regional Injury Prevention Research Center, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. The contents of this effort are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other associated entities.

Publisher Copyright:
© , Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Agriculture
  • animal-related activity
  • case-control study
  • injury
  • youth


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