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Conference Name Cost of Injuries on Cattle Feedyards in the United States

Suraj Adhikari and Aaron Yoder


Feedyard work is dangerous work. In 2020, the beef and cattle ranching and farming industries (including feedyards) recorded a fatal injury rate approximately five times higher than the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector overall. Since 2012, research and outreach personnel at the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) have been working to reduce the high rate of worker injuries and fatalities in feedyards.

In 2017, a NIOSH Ag Center research project was funded through CS-CASH entitled Improving Safety and Health in the Cattle Feedyard Industry. Based on data collected from the pilot grant projects, roundtable discussions, and many meetings with industry workers, managers and owners, long-term goals, objectives, and aims for a five-year project (2017-2022) were developed. The overall goal was to reduce the burden of injuries and illnesses among feedyard workers. The program's objectives were to develop, implement and evaluate a comprehensive feedyard safety and health training program, develop a network of stakeholders and improve the safety and health of feedyard workers, thereby reducing workers’ compensation costs for feedyards. This project aimed to bring together a group of experts in feedyard management, cattle and equipment handling safety, worker training, and research to develop a feedyard safety and health training program and evaluate the efficacy of the safety and health training programs. Project partners have provided valuable baseline injury and cost data from feedyards in the form of workers' compensation claim data and internal insurance cost analysis. This data is normally used to set the feedyard workers' compensation costs. These data are valuable to determine the burden of injuries (example: employee's days lost off work, type and extent of injury, overall rates of injury by source) and determine if safety training and interventions can reduce these rates. Data from feedyards enrolled in the project intervention will be presented. In addition to collecting insurance data on feedyard injuries and fatalities, data is collected yearly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CS-CASH Injury Surveillance project, and the CS-CASH News Clip Service, thereby providing robust data for the feedyard project, information on emerging issues, and data for use in educational resources.