Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting had the highest fatality rate in Virginia

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting had the highest fatality rate in Virginia. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting workers is the largest industry in Virginia. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. (n.d.), they explain that the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting bring in revenue of $70 billion every year.

Furthermore, there are currently around 48,000 farms in Virginia with predominately more male workers. the Virginia Cooperative Extension. (n.d.) mention that Virginia’s weather is the reason so many agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting occupations can thrive. Nonetheless, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is one of the most dangerous occupations due to the heavy workload, long hours in extreme weather, operating heavy and massive machinery, and the elderly who are most likely to keep working and increase their risk of a fatal injury (Virginia Cooperative Extension, n.d.).

Looking at the data trend from 2015 to 2017 on the United States Department of Labor (2019) website, over the years individually, the highest fatal injuries in Virginia were agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting with these industry concentrated rates being 19.1 in 2015, 43.8 in 2016, and 51.7 in 2017. Transportation and utilities come in second with 11.3 in 2015, 15.7 in 2016, and 10.1 in 2017 (United States Department of Labor. (2019). The rates have been steadily changing but not for the better.

We can see that agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is increasing every year. There have been types of industries where there is zero or no data and it has increased. For example, in public administration where in 2015 it was zero or no data and by 2017 their fatal rate was 2.0 (United States Department of Labor, 2019).  While these industry specific rates are rising the overall rate did decline. In 2015, the overall fatal injury rate was 2.8, rose to 4.0 in 2016 and decreased back to 2.9 in 2017 shown in Figure 1.0 (United States Department of Labor, 2019). While the industry specific fatal injury rate is increasing in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, the overall risk is low compared to other states such as Alaska (2015, 4.1; 2016, 10.1; 2017, 10.2) North Dakota (2015, 12.5; 2016, 7.0; 2017, 10.1) and Wyoming (No data from 2015; 2016, 12.3; 2017, 7.7). Although Virginia is not one of the lowest risk rates, the rate did decrease from 2016 (4.0) to 2017 (2.9) (United States Department of Labor, 2019).

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