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Safety and Health for Women in Agriculture


September 24, 2021

Safety and Health for Women Fact Sheet

DESCRIPTION

The objective is to provide basic information regarding overall safety and health for women in an agricultural related position.

OVERVIEW

Women represent 36% of all American agricultural producers, based on the 2017 Census of Agriculture. This has increased by 5% from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) outlines women’s risks, including pregnancy-related hazards, mental health, and work-related injuries (Ag Safety and Health, 2021). It is always essential for women in agriculture to be aware of their surroundings and overall health.

SIZE AND SHAPE

• Generally, tools are made for larger framed individuals; find tools made for a more petite body frame when at all possible.
• Be sure to adjust machinery where all pedals and levers can be easily reached.
• Resource properly fitting PPE to accommodate smaller sizes.

STRENGTH

• Women generally have an upper body strength 40-75% less than their male counterparts.
• Wearing sturdy footwear can help avoid falls and help with stability while carrying heavy loads.
• Having an appropriate calcium intake can help maintain a strong bone density.

REPRODUCTIVE FACTORS

• Be cautious when working around pesticides, needles, or livestock hormones, as these can all impact fertility.
• Zoonotic diseases can also impact fertility. Zoonotic diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

STRESS FACTORS

• Establish a support system including family and friends or even online blogs and networks.
• Do not be afraid to talk to a healthcare professional if there are any symptoms of depression or anxiety.



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