Agricultural life, while rewarding, is one of the most hazardous jobs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are roughly 2,050,000 full-time workers employed in agriculture, and everyday, about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury. In 2016 alone, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury. We see news story after news story that focus on the latest accident or injury or equipment failure, but because of the way we consume media, they can seem like isolated incidents. Let’s take a step back and explore the variety of ways farmers can get hurt and what you can do if it happens to you or someone you love.
According to the National Coalition for Agricultural Safety and Health, tractor accidents are the main cause of deaths and debilitating injuries. The causes of tractor injuries include:
- Overturn/rollover, which can pin the driver
- Power take-off entanglements
- Exposure to overhanging electrical wires
- Collisions on the roadway
- Falling from a tractor
- Being struck by or against an object
A tractor isn’t the only type of agricultural machinery that causes injury on a farm. Maintaining a stationary combine with grain heads can result in injury if the farmworker is hit by or against the machine. Entanglements in gears, belts, chains, and harvesting and moving machinery are just some of the dangers farmers face every day. A Nebraskan farmer, for example, was recently ensnared by a grain auger and was only able to save himself with a pocket knife. And in California, two farm workers tragically died after being pinned down by an almond shaker’s arm.
Working with farm animals is risky as well, and can result in getting hit by or against something. This can lead to a head fracture or bruising. Unfortunately, there are even “invisible” ways farmers can get hurt: illness. Respiratory disease, acute and chronic chemical toxicity, musculoskeletal syndromes, stress-related mental disorders, cancer, dermatitis, and noise-induced hearing loss are all persistent threats.
While maintaining a safety-first mentality is important to preventing injury, sometimes faulty products exist and cause problems in our lives.
Have You Experienced A Personal Injury?
If you or someone you love has experienced a personal injury on a farm, it is crucial that you talk to an expert personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and help you navigate the legal process. Please do not attempt to determine if you have a compensable case. You must consult a relevant agricultural attorney who has the expertise and extensive knowledge necessary to determine who ultimately caused the harm and injuries you or a loved one suffered. Contact us for a free case evaluation here.