NIOSH logo and tagline


tractor silhouette

Occupational Injury Surveillance of Production Agriculture (OISPA) Survey

Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. Additionally, farming is one of the few industries in which family members (who often share the work and live on the premises) are also at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.

In 1990, NIOSH implemented an extensive agricultural safety and health program to address the high risks of injuries and illnesses experienced by workers and families in agriculture. One component of this program was the development of an ongoing surveillance program to track the magnitude of nonfatal injuries occurring to adults working in agriculture.

An initial step in the development of the surveillance program was the completion of the Occupational Injury Surveillance of Production Agriculture (OISPA) survey. This survey, first conducted for the calendar year 2001, was designed to produce national and regional estimates of the number of adults 20 years of age and older working on farms and the number of occupational injuries that these workers incur. NIOSH collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) to conduct the initial survey, as well as additional OISPA surveys for the years 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2014.

The OISPA data tables providing results from the five surveys are divided into two broad categories:

Interpretation of these data are provided in NIOSH documents and publications. Demographic and injury estimates in the tables were calculated by NIOSH and are presented with the approval of USDA-NASS. Public access to all OISPA data files, or additional estimates from the OISPA, are subject to the approval of USDA-NASS. For additional information contact Kitty Hendricks.