What Causes Farm Injuries?

Worker operating farming equipment. | Patrick Daniel Law
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Agricultural life, while rewarding, is one of the most hazardous jobs, with farmers at high risk for suffering fatal and nonfatal farm injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly 2.29 million full-time workers were employed in agriculture in 2022.

In 2020, BLS reported 11,880 lost-work-time injuries. Though agricultural injuries are vastly underreported, that still amounts to more than 32 injuries suffered per day. In 2021, there were 453 work-related fatalities in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting private industry sector, per the BLS.

While we may see news stories focused on the latest accident, injury, or equipment failure, we never seem to discuss the pattern. We perceive them as isolated incidents. We may prevent future injuries by exploring the common ways farmers can get hurt.

Farm injuries occur more frequently than we realize, possibly because we don’t know to be aware of something until it happens to us or someone we love. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a farm accident, call an experienced Texas farm equipment accident lawyer. Schedule a FREE case review with Patrick Daniel Law today by calling (713) 999-6666.

Read More: Farm Accident Statistics to Know in 2022

What Are Some Common Farm Injuries?

Tractor Injuries

In 2018 alone, 146 workers suffered fatal injuries involving tractors, according to the BLS. That was the lowest number of tractor-related work deaths since at least 2011. The causes of tractor injuries include:

  • Overturn/rollover, which can pin the driver
  • Runovers
  • Power take-off entanglements
  • Exposure to overhanging electrical wires
  • Collisions on the roadway
  • Falling from a tractor
  • Being struck by or against an object

Machinery Injuries

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 or moving machinery are just some of the dangers farmers face daily. 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.

Other Types of Farming Injuries

Working with farm animals is risky as well and can result in getting hit by or against something. This can lead to fractures or bruising. Unfortunately, there are also many “invisible” ways for farmers to get injured. Persistent threats include, but are not limited to:

  • Respiratory disease
  • Acute & chronic chemical toxicity
  • Musculoskeletal syndromes
  • Stress-related mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Dermatitis
  • Noise-induced hearing loss

While maintaining a safety-first mentality is essential to preventing injury, sometimes faulty products can cause unforeseen problems in our lives.

Have You Experienced a Farming Injury?

If you or someone you love has experienced farm injuries, it is crucial that you talk to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and help you navigate the legal process.

Read More: How to Recover Full Compensation from a Farm Accident

Consult a skilled farm equipment injury attorney with the expertise and understanding necessary to determine who ultimately caused the accident and injuries you or your loved one suffered. For a FREE case evaluation, contact Patrick Daniel Law today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Transportation incidents, like crashes, tractor overturns, and being struck by a vehicle, were the leading cause of death for farmers and farm workers in 2021, according to the BLS. Some other causes of farm injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Entanglement or collision with machinery
  • Toxic exposure to herbicides & pesticides
  • Falls from ladders, machines, barns, roofs, aerial lifts, etc.
  • Fires and explosions due to fuel, gases, or dust from harvesting/storing grain
  • Farm animals’ kicks, bites & trampling
  • Becoming buried in a silo, grain bin, or grain elevator
  • Weather

There are many possible injuries that could be caused by the variety of accidents listed previously. These include but are not limited to:

  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Damage to organs
  • Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
  • Burn injuries
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, mouth, or airway
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cancer
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Hearing loss
  • Animal bites
  • Bacterial infections from bites
  • Suffocation

Farm injuries can be costly, debilitating, and even deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a farm accident, contact an experienced attorney to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Read More: Most Common Agricultural Injuries

As one would expect, most farm accidents occur during the peak harvesting season. June, July, and August are often the most active times of year for an agricultural worker. With activity at its highest rate, there are bound to be more accidents.

During crop production and harvesting, care must be taken to maintain safety protocols. With more workers, extra machinery, and encroaching deadlines, workers may be encouraged to cut corners. To protect yourself and others, it is important to abide by standard safety precautions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends following guidelines when working with various types of hazards in an agricultural occupation. These include but are not limited to:

Animal-Transmitted Infections & Diseases
  • Wash hands thoroughly & frequently
  • Always use appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Receive relevant vaccinations
  • Attend training in infection control measures
Grain Bins & Silos
  • Refrain from standing or walking on grain
  • Wear proper safety equipment (body harness, boatswain’s chair)
  • Attend training on grain dust explosions
Dangerous Equipment & Machinery
  • Maintain equipment per the manufacturers’ specifications
  • Ensure all power tools have been grounded & are used properly
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Keep long hair tied back & do not wear loose clothing
  • Maintain well-lit & uncluttered work areas
Heat Illness
  • Drink plenty of water (at least every 15 minutes)
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing
  • Rest when you can and in the shade
  • Watch your coworkers for signs of illness
  • Attend training in fall protection
  • Wear & use fall protection when working from heights
  • Maintain ladders & other equipment
  • Keep work areas tidy & uncluttered
  • Wear boots that fit well & have non-slip soles
Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Utilize ergonomic protections
  • Always use the proper tools for a task
  • Use padding to reduce vibrations
  • Maintain equipment to reduce decibel levels
  • Install acoustic insulation on walls & ceilings when necessary
  • Use personal protective equipment to protect ears
  • Apply vibration isolation pads to noisy equipment
Pesticides, Herbicides, & Other Chemicals
  • Attend training on handling & working with hazardous chemicals
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment
Respiratory Hazards
  • Wear respiratory protection
  • Maintain proper enclosures & ventilation on tractors
Unsanitary Conditions

Per OSHA Standard 1928.110, any agricultural operation with 11 or more workers must provide basic sanitary conditions. As a worker, you have the right to:

  • Toilet facilities
  • Handwashing facilities
  • Potable water
  • Reasonable use of these facilities
  • Properly maintained facilities
Vehicle Dangers
  • Always shut off a vehicle when refueling
  • Utilize Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)
  • Ensure any towed implement is properly hitched
  • When a vehicle is parked:
    • Shut it off
    • Ensure the brake is engaged
    • Put it in gear or in park-lock
    • Remove the keys
    • Disengage any attachments
  • Store fuel storage tanks separately
  • Store the vehicle in an uncluttered area away from structures housing livestock
  • Be aware of the height of electrical lines in comparison to vehicle height
  • Train properly on any vehicle you are operating
  • Do not wear loose clothing or hair when working near or with a running machine
  • Be familiar with the owner’s manual of a vehicle

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