Review Article

What kills the agricultural worker? A systematic review on suicide


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Moisés Barbosa Junior1
PhD Candidate, Researcher *

Carla Cristiane Sokulski2 PhD Candidate, Researcher

Rodrigo Salvador3 PhD Candidate, Researcher

Eliane Pinheiro4 PhD, Professor

Antonio Carlos de Francisco 5 PhD, Professor

Flavio Trojan6 PhD, Professor


1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Sustainable Production Systems Laboratory (LESP), Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering (PPGEP), Department of Industrial Engineering (DAENP), Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR), Ponta Grossa 84016-210, Brazil

6 Department of Electrical and Electronics, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR), Ponta Grossa 84016-210, Brazil

ACCEPTED: 23 April 2021

early abstract:

Objective: The aim of this research is fourfold: i) analyze which countries have the largest number of publications on suicide among agricultural workers, ii) understand the factors that lead to either suicide or intent, iii) identify the methods of suicide or attempted suicide, and iv) propose preventive measures so that rural agricultural workers are not exposed to risk factors to suicide.
Methods: A literature review was conducted for the period 1996-2019, searching the Scopus, Lilacs, Pubmed/Medline, and Science Direct databases, resulting in 44 articles deemed relevant to this research.
Results: Agricultural workers were considered the ones who perform agricultural activities, being them either employees or employers. Australia, China, India, and Brazil had the greatest number of publications, and the causes for suicide were mostly due to easy access or exposure to pesticides, and to socioeconomic factors, such as masculinity, conditions of poverty, and social isolation.
Conclusion: When compared to others workers, professionals in agriculture can be a group of risk, with a great number of factors leading to suicide. Based on the available literature, proposals for suicide prevention are directed.