Physical Health

As one of the most hazardous industries, farm workers are at a high risk for both fatal and nonfatal physical injuries and illnesses. More than just preparing to avoid a one time incident, farm safety is also about continual practices and measures taken to protect the health and wellbeing of agricultural workers. From aging farmers to youth on the farm, health concerns associated with agriculture range from transportation incidents and pesticide exposure to musculoskeletal disorders and hearing loss.

To continue learning more about how to best protect your farm and workers, view the resources below.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease: Practical Workplace Adaptations Fact Sheet

An adaptation is a large or small change made to the home and work environments. Adaptations can help you live and work independently for a longer period of time.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

disease is a progressive movement disorder where symptoms become worse over time and can affect the ability to perform common daily activities. It is characterized by three motor symptoms: tremors, stiffness or rigidity of the muscles, and slowness of movement.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Recommendations for Prevention: Worker Injuries Caused by Repetitive Motion

Preventing musculoskeletal injuries in the work environment can lead to improvements in worker wellbeing and performance, milk production, and cow health.


Repetitive Motion Injuries: [noun]

Injuries due to performing the same motion over and over. These conditions are due to overuse, without adequate recovery. Low back strain due to repeated lifting, especially with poor technique, is an example.

– Suzanne Tanner, M.D. (Mayo Clinic)

Long-Term Injury Flier

Long-term injuries can occur from repetitive movements caused by excessive bending, lifting, working in an assembly line, and standing for long periods of time.


Repetitive Motion Injuries Poster

This poster can be printed and used around the farm and work environment to remind workers to be mindful of their movements and engage in repetitive motion injury prevention methods during their daily activities.


8.5 X 11 11 X 17


8.5 X 11 11 X 17

Low Back Pain

Ergonomic Strategies for Preventing Pain While Farming

Farmers can experience musculoskeletal disorders, injuries, and pain symptoms, especially in the lower back region, due to the physical demands of their job and limited access to resources in rural areas. These ‘Protect Your Back’ posters describe ergonomic strategies for lifting safely and practicing good posture while driving. Try them out  to help prevent back pain and other musculoskeletal problems while working.

Low Back Pain Among Midwestern Crop Farmers

In 2022, UMASH hosted Justine Bauer, an Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program student at the University of Minnesota, as she completed her capstone project: an “Ergonomic Program for Crop Production Farmers Operating in Rural Communities in the Midwest.” Justine surveyed twenty-three crop farmers and visited two on-site. Her goal was to understand the musculoskeletal issues experienced by Midwestern crop farmers, identify work tasks associated with low back pain, and provide ergonomic recommendations to help protect farmers’ backs. Based on the findings of her project, Justine developed the ergonomic ‘Protect Your Back’ resources and this fact sheet and recommendations.