How many people are accidentally killed by woodchippers annually worldwide?

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The only data available is on deaths per year in the United States. Other data may be available for other countries, but it is not easily accessible—for example, RIDDOR houses accidental death data for the UK, but they are too general to find specific information about deaths via wood chipper.

In the US, there are roughly 3.3 deaths by wood chipper per year. Now, some of those deaths are what you would expect (a person being dragged into the chipper itself) but the majority are simply tangentially related to the woodchipper, like being hit by a falling tree limb while working with a chipper, working too long on the chipper and experiencing heat stroke, or being struck by something coming out of the chipper. It is essential to understand that of all reported cases, the relationship of the accident to the chipper only needs to be linked for it to count as a chipper-caused incident under OSHA guidelines.

While that statistic seems relatively small, it is important to note that wood chipper related accidents generally occur when there is not enough training or supervision. Unsafe work environments often lead to chipper accidents, and young/inexperienced workers are especially vulnerable.

Wood chippers, though expensive, are a global industry, and it can be expected that countries with lax safety regulations probably experience more chipper related deaths. However, as I noted above, there is little in terms of statistics related explicitly to wood chippers outside that provided by the CDC and OSHA. If you were to extrapolate, there is the possibility that in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the deaths by wood chipper increase significantly due to lax safety precautions.

Another thing to consider is that you are asking for accidental deaths by wood chipper, which is not measured by OSHA or CDC—instead, all deaths are lumped together by type of death. There is some evidence online that there are non-accidental wood chipper deaths and injuries, but those are probably a publicized minority.

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This is an interesting if somewhat macabre question, but it is relevant beyond the movie Fargo. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied work-related injuries in the US from 1992 to 2002. Their research found that there were 31 fatal injuries delivered by mobile wood chippers over that ten year period. Quick division gives us 3.1 wood chipper deaths per year in the United States. Extrapolating this number to worldwide results would be a somewhat difficult enterprise. The US is an exceptional country in global economic terms; it is the wealthiest nation in the world. Professional wood chippers, of a size large enough to engulf an entire human, are extremely expensive machines; the asking price for used models can be upwards of $20,000. Thus, the number of deaths related to wood chipper accidents could be higher than normal in the US because it is a country where more of these machines could be purchased and used. In nations with smaller economies than the US these machines would be much rarer and thus the deaths would be fewer. My thinking is that there are probably no more than 20 deaths per year worldwide from wood chippers. 

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