Farming and agricultural work is a very rewarding way to earn a living. Although difficult, challenging, and often quite time-consuming, it makes those who chose it as their calling happy and satisfied because all they grow and nurture is for themselves and the family. Still, it can be dangerous and even deadly especially if the landowners, equipment operators, and manufacturers do not take the needed steps and ensure that the safety is on a high level.
The Department of Labor reports that farming industry deaths rose by an incredible and very worrying 11% in 2008 alone, with 650 deaths reported that year. Also, at least 170,000 agricultural workers are injured around the world every year doing some of the many farm-related work, mostly ones involving heavy machinery and dangerous tools. If you or one of your loved ones is injured in a farming accident, you may have the right to compensation, at least in some cases, and Mahoney & Mahoney could help. Make sure to check if you are entitled to something if you ever have the misfortune of experiencing something like this.
Common Farm Injury Accidents
As you can probably imagine, there are quite a few potential accidents and injuries that can happen to anyone working some kind of farming or agriculture task. Some of the most common farming accidents that lead to severe injury or death include the following:
Tractor Overturns Fatalities
Each year, it is estimated that 100 farmers in the US die when their tractor rolls over during operation. Many other farmers suffer severe injuries during these tragic accidents.
While these accidents may be due to user error or a lack of care and experience, sometimes the tractor has a design flaw that makes it more likely to overturn. The tractor also may not have sufficient warning labels about the danger of overturning, which can lead to a novice operator putting themselves in danger each time around. Overturning injuries are the most common farming accident. Note that some older tractors do not even have seatbelts or proper rolling cages, cabins, and similar types of safety measures, which can increase the chance of serious injury and death.
Farm Structure Falls
Many farmers suffer serious injuries when they fall from farm machinery or structures. These include grain bins, haymows, ladders, and farm buildings. Falling objects are another thing that can fall down, often directly on someone. Wherever there is serious physical work there is always a danger of falling objects, as well as a risk of people themselves falling from dangerous heights.
Farm Machine Entanglements
When you imagine a model farm, you probably think of at least a few vehicles and tools that can easily kill a person or seriously injure them in a split-second of decreased care or attention. Farmworkers can be maimed, disfigured, or even killed when caught in farm machinery, such as PTO shafts and augers. Farm work should always be approached with a lot of care.
Moving on, people working on farms could also become trapped in a grain silo or bin where they are suffocated by tons of grain falling directly on them. Others can be trapped in enclosed spaces that do not have enough oxygen for survival when within a silo or whenever manure gas is present.
Farm Accident Negligence
Some farming injuries are unpreventable and are tragic accidents that are simply results of unfortunate circumstances, but others could have been prevented quite easily if not for the negligent actions of another party. Some of the ways that farm accidents can be caused by negligence include the following human-made errors:
- The company that has designed, assembled, and sold the farming equipment fails to put the right warning labels on its products.
- When the company does not do its due diligence by warning users of the equipment’s dangers, the company may be liable for the injuries you have sustained.
- If a piece of farming equipment is poorly maintained or has a defective design flaw.
- Farm owners have a legal obligation to ensure that all of their machinery is safe for their employees, and equipment manufacturers must perform a full testing phase of the product to ensure the device has a safe design and that it is safe for continuous human operation.
- If the farm employer takes off or removes safety devices and safety information from the premises, such as shield and safety devices from farm equipment.
- If the farm employer does not provide adequate training to workers on how to use the farming equipment required for daily operations.
- Many farm owners save time and money by not teaching workers proper farm equipment safety, which is how many accidents happen every year.
- If a farm employer (for a number of reasons) continues to use broken or faulty farming equipment to do their duties.
Conclusion and Takeaways
Every year, one in five farms in the farming states is the scene of a farming accident, and some of them scenes where a work-related death occurred. These accidents can lead to devastating bodily injuries, such as amputations and loss of limbs, head injuries, and brain damage. Other common injuries are spinal and back injuries, as well as disfigurement that could prevent a person from having a normal work life, or a normal life in general. Of course, death is the ultimate bad scenario that is still happening due to someone’s error or negligence.
These severe injuries can keep your farm from working, reduce your income and reputation, and therefore the entire quality of life as well. You may also experience some form of legal trouble because of them. To prevent this, make sure that everyone injured has regular medical care and rehabilitation, but also go out of your way to prevent such outcomes. If you have a severe farming accident injury, you could have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in ongoing medical costs. How will you pay?
If another party was responsible for your farming accident, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. They could be liable for paying for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.