Many would not guess that agricultural jobs are ranked among the most dangerous jobs available. With large machinery, animals and a wide variety of chemicals, there are countless ways workers can hurt themselves. Regardless of the size of the farm, many injuries and even fatalities happen every year on farms across the U.S.
Farm Injury Statistics: A Discouraging Perspective on Worker Safety
The agricultural industry is comprised of everything from large industrial operations to smaller, family run farms. It is one of the few businesses that often have families that live and work on the farm of various ages, not just adult workers. According to the Center for Disease Control, farming is a high-risk business with many a large capacity for serious and fatal injuries.
- In 2010, there were an estimated 1.8 million full-time workers and over 5 million combined workers in the agricultural industry. In the same year 476 farm workers lost their lives from work-related accidents. An average of 243 farm workers are injured every day, with 5% of these injuries resulting in permanent impairment.
- Over 1 million children under the age of 20 live on farms, with over half of them performing work on the farm. In 2009, there were also an additional 230,000 adolescents that worked on farms that do not reside on farms. An average of 113 children under 20 years of age die each year on farms in farm work-related accidents.
- In 2009, there were 16, 100 children and adolescents injured on farms, 3,400 directly related to work injuries.
- Older farm workers are at high risk for fatalities. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data shows that workers over 55 years of age were the victims of over half of the agriculture worker deaths between 1992- 2004.
- Tractor overturns are the leading cause of death, accounting for 90 deaths annually on farms. Many of these could have been prevented with the use of Roll-Over Protective Structures, but in 2010, only 59% of tractors were equipped with these devices.
- According to OSHA, the rate for farm worker injuries was 20% higher in 2010 then other types of work injuries, with 4.8 injuries per 100 versus 3.8 per 100 for all other workers.
Types Of Farm Accidents
Depending on the type of farm, there is a wide-variety of accidents that can happen in day-to-day agricultural work. Although tractor accidents are the leading cause of fatalities there are many types of equipment and other hazards for agricultural workers to contend with.
- Equipment malfunctions
- Chemical exposures
- Animal injuries
- Equipment defects
- Combine, grain bins and other equipment accidents
Some accidents can be due to improper training or use of safety gear. It is up to farm owners to provide a safe and healthy work environment just like any other employer. However, many of these injuries also happen to the farm owners and their families due to no fault of their own.
There have been many cases of malfunctioning or defected equipment and machinery that has put agricultural workers and farm-owning families at risk for injury. There are also chemical and pesticides that may be harmful that do not have the proper warning information provided. In these cases, the fault is often the makers and manufacturers of the agricultural equipment and products.
The agricultural industry is part of what makes the U.S. sustainable and helps feed not only Americans, but people from across the world. It is necessary to the economy and well being of the country. However, it is a dangerous industry and agricultural workers must strive to use any safety precautions they can to keep themselves safe. It is also the owners of these farms duty to provide the proper safety equipment and training for their workers.
Attorneys Representing People Who Have Suffered An Injury At A Farm
Many agricultural injuries involve powerful machinery and are truly life changing events for the individuals involved. Frequently, these injuries are magnified due to delayed medical attention or inadequate medical attention in rural areas. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understands the issues involved in these cases and work to secure the maximum recovery from all responsible parties.
In significant farm injury cases, our attorneys commonly investigate the role of: land owners, product manufacturers, management companies, maintenance companies and other workers on the farm– all with an eye towards protecting the rights of our clients. Call our personal injury law office today and let us begin the process of determining who is responsible. (888) 424-5757