Emergency presentations for farm-related injuries in older adults residing in south-western Victoria, Australia



Farm workers are at high risk for injuries, and epidemiological data are needed to plan resource allocation.


This study identified regions with high farm-related injury rates in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Australia, for residents aged ≥50 yr.


Retrospective synthesis using electronic medical records of emergency presentations occurring during 2017–2019 inclusive for Local Government Areas (LGA) in the study region. For each LGA, age-standardised incidence rates (per 1000 population/year) were calculated.


For men and women combined, there were 31 218 emergency presentations for any injury, and 1150 (3.68%) of these were farm-related. The overall age-standardised rate for farm-related injury presentations was 2.6 (95% CI 2.4–2.7); men had a higher rate than women (4.1, 95% CI 3.9–4.4 versus 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.3, respectively). For individual LGAs, the highest rates of farm-related emergency presentations occurred in Moyne and Southern Grampians, both rural LGAs. Approximately two-thirds of farm-related injuries occurred during work activities (65.0%), and most individuals arrived at the hospital by transport classified as “other” (including private car, 83.3%). There were also several common injury causes identified: “other animal related injury” (20.2%), “cutting, piercing object” (19.5%), “fall ⟨1 m” (13.1%), and “struck by or collision with object” (12.5%). Few injuries were caused by machinery (1.7%) and these occurred mainly in the LGA of Moyne (65%).

Discussion and Conclusion

This study provides data to inform future research and resource allocation for the prevention of farm-related injuries.

What is already known on this subject?

  • Agricultural workers have some of the highest rates of injury of any occupation.
  • WorkSafe Victoria released the “Agriculture Strategy 2020-23” describing the dangers and a plan to improve safety in agricultural settings, which requires contemporary evidence and data.
  • Farm workers often continue work-related activities past the age of retirement.

What does this study add?

  • Approximately 3.7% of all emergency presentations in adults aged ≥50 years occurred in in a farm environment.
  • Higher rates of farm-related emergency presentations occurred in the Local Government Areas of Moyne and Southern Grampians.
  • These results can help inform future research and prevention strategies for farm-related injuries.
Holloway-Kew KL, Baker TR, Sajjad MA, Yosef T, Kotowicz MA, Adams J,et al.2024Emergency presentations for farm-related injuries in older adults residing in south-western Victoria, AustraliaAust J Rural Health2024;32:498–509. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.13110Go to page