Occupational fatalities due to animal-related events

Wilderness Environ Med. 2001 Fall;12(3):168-74. doi: 10.1580/1080-6032(2001)012[0168:ofdtar]2.0.co;2.


Objective: To better understand the extent of animal-related fatalities in the workplace.

Methods: This study utilized Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries files from the US Department of Labor for the years 1992-1997 to describe the events surrounding human workplace fatalities associated with animals.

Results: During the 6-year time period, 350 workplace deaths could be associated with an animal-related event. Cattle and horses were the animals primarily involved, and workers in the agricultural industry experienced the majority of events. Many deaths involved transportation events, either direct collision with the animal or highway crashes trying to avoid collision with an animal. Exotic animals, primarily elephants and tigers, were responsible for a few deaths. A small number of workers died of a zoonotic infection.

Conclusions: We found that approximately 1% of workplace fatalities are associated with an animal-related event. Methods to decrease the frequency of an animal injury are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Birds
  • Cattle
  • Cause of Death
  • Deer
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Insecta
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterinarians