Agricultural workers have some unique dangers and risks associated with their profession. These hard-working individuals are constantly exposed to harsh weather, injury-causing machinery, and dangerous chemicals. It’s because of these dangers that many farmers go out of their way to protect their workers from harm by using protective gear and setting extensive safety rules.
Despite the many dangers, many agricultural workers still want to come in and do their jobs every day because they love working with plants and animals so much and contributing to the overall mission of the profession. This forces them to work around heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, harsh weather conditions, and other hazards that few of us can even imagine enduring on a daily basis.
To better understand what it is like to work as an agricultural worker, we need to take a closer look at the leading causes of trauma experienced in the industry.
Farm Machinery Injuries
One of the most common dangers that agricultural workers have to deal with is being injured by farm machinery. When you think about it, many farm vehicles are likely to cause injury even if their drivers aren’t reckless or negligent. For instance, a tractor can tip over on its side and crush an unfortunate worker who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Combine this with large, heavy farm equipment and the potential for injury becomes even greater.
Farm machine injuries are so common because many of these vehicles tend to be massive in size and can weigh thousands or tens of thousands of pounds. When combined with poor weather conditions that can make it difficult to see clearly, workers may find themselves in harm’s way before they know it.
Falling on the Job
It is an unfortunate fact that many agricultural workers are injured every year because they fall on the job. This may be due to wet working conditions, slippery surfaces like metal walkways, or something as simple as improper footwear for the type of work being done at a given time. For instance, someone who wears rubber boots even when performing light duties outside may slip and fall on a wet surface.
One of the most common ways agricultural workers are injured is when they trip over objects or walk into areas that contain protruding metal rods, fence posts, barbed wire fencing, etc. The type of footwear being worn will have an impact on how easily someone can recover from this sort of incident as well.
Workers may also be injured by falling into ditches, pits, trenches, or holes that are covered over with dirt. This is especially true if the worker has to step off a ladder in order to get down inside of it. As you can see, there are many ways for agricultural workers to injure themselves while on the job, and they are often unforeseeable.
Livestock can also injure agricultural workers. Working with livestock can be dangerous for agricultural workers because they are often unpredictable around humans. If an individual is working in a field with livestock nearby, then ideally, the animals should be contained in some manner to reduce the risk of injury. However, this is not always possible, depending on the type of farm being worked at and how close an individual is to the livestock.
One of the most common livestock injuries is when someone gets bitten by an animal. These types of incidents are especially likely to occur with dogs because they tend to be unpredictable and may attack without warning even if they have never done something similar before.
Another type of livestock injury is when someone gets kicked by a large farm animal. This can cause serious injuries depending on which part of the body is hit and how hard they are kicked by the animal in question. In some cases, it even results in death because an individual may be trampled or crushed if something like this happens while working around livestock. These are just a few of the many ways agricultural workers can be injured from livestock on the job.
Agricultural workers also have to deal with the risk of being injured by toxic chemicals. These may be pesticides that are sprayed on crops, manure or slurry from livestock operations, cleaning products used for animal feeders and other equipment, and many others. In many cases, these substances can cause irritation, skin infections, or burns if agricultural workers get them on their skin or in open wounds.
In some cases, the chemicals in question may be accidentally swallowed or inhaled by agricultural workers who are exposed to them. This can cause serious medical problems that require immediate attention by someone trained in toxic substances and first aid procedures.
Harsh Weather Conditions
Finally, harsh weather conditions can cause agricultural workers to be injured on the job. This may happen when it is extremely hot or cold outside and an individual isn’t dressed for work in such a climate which could result in heat stroke or hypothermia. It’s also possible that someone will get lost while working outdoors due to poor visibility caused by heavy fog, rain, and snow.
The variety of weather conditions agricultural workers have to deal with is immense. It’s important for them to take necessary precautions when working in such conditions. This includes wearing appropriate clothing, being aware of the weather forecast before going into work that day, and checking up on coworkersduring the day, among other precautions.
Any type of injury can be life-changing for someone who is injured while working on the job, but agricultural injuries may be especially serious because of livestock, chemicals, and weather conditions. It’s important to take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of injury while performing work duties outside or around animals that can cause harm if they are startled, equipment that can malfunction or cause injury if not used properly, and weather conditions that may be dangerous depending on how extreme they are.
If you have a concern about your farm’s practices or policies, or you have been injured in a farming accident, consider talkingto an attorney who is experienced in this area of law. Contact English Lloyd & Armenta for more information.