Illinois Farm Injury Attorneys
Agricultural workers face significant hazards on the job. In 2015, the agricultural industry had the third-highest number of worker fatalities, but by far the highest rate of fatal injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 243 agricultural workers suffer a serious on-the-job injury every day. The fatality rate for farmworkers is about seven times that for private-industry workers generally, and the injury rate about 40% higher.
Farm work presents a risk to young workers. In part, that’s because nearly 900,000 youths under the age of 20 reside on farms across the country. However, more than 250,000 non-resident teens are employed on U.S. farms, many of whom would be ineligible to work with heavy equipment or in other hazardous situations in other industries. Thousands of teenagers are injured on farms each year, and about 100 young farm workers are killed annually.
Given the physical labor and heavy machinery involved in farming, it is no surprise that agricultural work is more dangerous than many other types of employment. However, many farm injuries could be avoided with simple precautions. In fact, many injuries and fatalities could be avoided simply by following OSHA regulations.
Top Farm Injury Risks
According to OSHA, some of the most significant risks to agricultural workers include:
- Vehicle hazards: nearly half of all agricultural deaths involve vehicles. Tractor rollovers are the most common cause of farming-related vehicular fatalities, though they can be avoided through the installation of rollover protective structures and seatbelts.
- Heat-related illnesses: thousands of agricultural workers get sick from heat exposure every year. Heat even results in some farm fatalities, though this type of sickness is entirely avoidable through simple precautions such as drinking enough water and taking breaks in the shade.
- Falls: falling presents a hazard to employees in many industries, and is a leading cause of work-related injuries and fatalities. In the agricultural industry, many falls could be avoided through simple safety precautions, such as guard rails on elevated working surfaces.
- Grain bins and silos: grain bins present a unique hazard for farm workers. A worker can be engulfed by flowing grain in approximately one minute. About half of those engulfed in grain bins die of suffocation.
- Hazardous equipment and machinery: operating heavy machinery always carries some risk, but that risk is greatly elevated by outdated equipment, removal of or failure to install safety features, and a lack of clear instruction and procedure.
- Chemical exposure: pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other materials commonly used in farming can trigger serious medical problems, in the short-term or over years of work in the industry.
Liability for Farm Injuries
Liability for a farm-related injury or death depends on a variety of factors. Potential responsible parties include:
- The owner of the farm
- The company managing/operating the farm, if different from the owner
- The manufacturer of equipment
- The manufacturer of materials such as pesticides
In addition, an employee injured on a farm may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
It is important to note that one or more of these parties may be liable even if the employee was also negligent and was partially responsible for his own injuries.
Talk to a Local Farm Injury Attorney
The aftermath of a farm injury can be very stressful. You need to focus on your medical care and physical recovery, but medical bills may be mounting and you may be unable to work for an extended period.
When you hire us to represent you in a farm injury case, we will:
- Manage deadlines
- Investigate your claim
- Identify possible responsible parties
- Research insurance coverage
- Interview witnesses
- Negotiate on your behalf
- If necessary, try your case before a jury
Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced advocate in your corner right now. Just schedule a free consultation to get started.