In 2021, the agriculture industry saw 133 deaths, one of the lowest totals over the previous decade, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

But the industry remains one of the most dangerous in America. Across all industries, there were about 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2021. For agriculture, the rate was 20, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, an agency housed within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 133 deaths in 2021, about a fifth were related to motor vehicles away from public roads — generally, these were farmworkers being transported to or from job sites in rural areas. The Biden administration recently proposed a rule requiring vehicles taking farmworkers to and from work to have seat belts.

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Sky Chadde has covered the agriculture industry for Investigate Midwest since 2019 and spent much of 2020 focused on the crisis of COVID-19 in meatpacking plants, which included collecting and analyzing...

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