If you spend your days doing manual labor on a farm, you earn yourself a good night’s sleep with your sweat and labor every day. But did you realize that farm workers and ranchers die at a rate of 700 fatalities annually? It may surprise some people to know that these are some of the most dangerous occupations in the country! If you or a loved one is injured or killed while working in this industry, a Jackson personal injury attorney may be worth consulting.
In addition to the exceedingly high death rate in the agricultural world, injuries that leave workers disabled are very common. Over 120,000 workers experience these kinds of mishaps every year. The most common time of year for these accidents is harvest time. The risks of working with automated equipment and grain storage bins can be serious, and agricultural work in general can hold hazards one might not anticipate.
There are plenty of workers in the agricultural field right here in Mississippi, and we certainly have our share of tragic accidents:
- One Pontotoc farmer became trapped in a grain bin while it was in operation. He yelled for help and used his cell phone to dial 911, but to no avail. Ultimately, he suffocated to death in that storage bin.
- A Bolivar County worker who was in the process of cleaning a grain bin pit was crushed by a backhoe when it was accidentally driven into the pit.
In addition to storage bins, many other dangers are lurking on farms, including catwalks, electrical hazards, and heavy equipment like augers, backhoes, and tractors. When it comes to minimizing injuries and deaths; farmers are urged by the National Safety Council to operate under key safety guidelines:
- Post warning signs on grain bins related to entrapment dangers;
- Keep entrances to these areas locked;
- Have safety ladders installed inside all bins;
- Remain outside of any grain bins while they are in the process of loading or unloading;
- Turn off power before entering a grain bin;
- Be sure others are aware of a worker’s presence in a bin;
- Never work in or around storage sites without a dust-filtering respirator, ear plugs, and other safety equipment;
- Use harnesses as a level of protection when heights are involved;
- Refrain from reaching across an operating Power Take-Off (PTO);
- Consider retrofitting old equipment with roll-over safety features;
- Avoid kicking at items stuck in an operating auger;
- Never enter a bull pen without a planned escape route in case it’s necessary;
- Use cables and safety latches when loading and unloading equipment;
- Ensure that chemicals are stored and used according to industry standards.
Following an Accident
After a serious injury, whether on a farm or as part of a farming operation, you may not know how to proceed or what options for getting your medical bills paid are available. The truth is, you may be entitled to damages. To explore the options, contact the experienced personal injury team at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC. If we pursue your claim, there is no cost to you, unless we win.