Some people don’t think about farming as something dangerous, but it can be. There are many accidents that can happen when people are negligent or unaware of the problems they can cause. Injuries can vary from the use of air equipment to the animals they are taking care of.
The most common agricultural injuries include:
- Tractor overturn accidents: Workers can become pinned underneath tractors and other heavy machinery when they overturn.
- Falls: Many jobs on the farm require workers to scale heights.
- Entanglements and amputations
- Toxic exposure
- Animal injuries
- Vehicle accidents
For example, heavy machinery accidents can happen when workers become pinned underneath tractors, putting the operator of the tractor and others in the vicinity at risk of being crushed. Crush injuries can consist of broken bones, significant bleeding and damage to organs. Victims may also develop a complication where pressure rises inside damaged tissue. Without immediate medical attention, the muscles and nerves in the injured area may die.
Falls are also common because many jobs on the farm require workers to scale heights. Falls from ladders, machines, barns and more can lead to serious injuries and even death.
The moving parts of heavy machinery can do severe damage to the human body. Workers may get caught in machines when they are in use or if the machine is not powered down during maintenance and repairs.
Burns can also cause significant physical damage to a person. Farms are full of flammable substances. These range from fuel for machines to gases created by manure to dust from harvesting and storing grain. If any of these substances come into contact with an ignition source, fires and explosions can occur. These injuries can be life-altering. In addition to pain and disfigurement, severe burns can lead to permanent loss of mobility, sensation and more.
Many commercial farms make extensive use of pesticides and herbicides. Unfortunately, unwanted bugs and vegetation are not the only ones harmed by the administration of these chemicals. Short-term exposure to pesticides and herbicides can result in irritation of the skin, the mucous membranes (i.e., the eyes, nose and mouth) and potentially the airway. However, long-term exposure to small amounts of toxins can put workers and even those living near the farm at risk for cancer and other serious ailments.
Working outside all day can also have adverse effects. Due to working in the sun, dust and wind, eye injuries are common among agricultural workers. Short-term conditions include eye irritation and sensitivity, while long-term conditions such as cataracts and retinal damage are also possible. Farmers are exposed to temperature extremes when working outside with crops or animals, maintaining land, or operating machinery. When exposed to extreme heat, they could face heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Cold weather conditions can lead to frostbite or even hypothermia.
It is important to act quickly after a farming injury. Follow these steps:
- Seek medical care
- Report the injury to your employer
- Take photographs and preserve evidence
- Consult an attorney at Castel & Hall, LLP., at 617-540-0033