Farming is difficult work, and each year, many agricultural workers become injured on-the-job. While not every state requires agricultural employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, California does require that farms and agricultural companies purchase this form of insurance. That means when you become injured in a farming accident, you will most likely be entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Of course, it can often be difficult to file a claim for workers’ compensation without legal guidance. If you need assistance securing compensation for your medical costs and disability benefits, our team at Ufkes & Bright would be happy to assist you. Since 1964, our lawyers in Santa Ana have been helping local farmers and agricultural workers secure the fair recovery that they deserve after workplace accidents, standing by their side throughout the claims process.
Find out how we can help with your claim today by calling (714) 500-8661!
7 Common Farming Accidents You May Encounter
The fatality and injury rate among our nation’s farmers, agricultural managers, and ranchers is astronomical, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting that nearly 36,000 farmworkers suffered an injury in 2015, and that agricultural workers make up about 8.3% of all workplace fatalities across different industries. Because this form of work is so physically demanding, it’s little wonder that the injury and fatality rates are so high – which is exactly why California employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers.
Here are the top 7 most common farming accidents that result in injury or death:
- Overturning tractors and heavy machinery. Tractors and other kinds of farm equipment are notoriously heavy and difficult to operate. Because of this fact, tractors overturning are the most common cause of farmworker fatality. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over 44% of all farming accidents involve some kind of tractor rollover.
- Falls. From performing tree surgeries to standing on silos to scaling barns, there are many situations where farmworkers need to scale great heights to accomplish their tasks. Unfortunately, this means that falls from heights are some of the most common farming accidents – and these falls can leave workers with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and many other severe injuries.
- Toxic chemical exposure to pesticides. Next to tractors overturning and falls from heights, injuries from toxic chemical exposure lead the pack for farming accidents. While there may not necessarily be a single defining incident of exposure, long-term use of certain pesticides can cause breathing problems, skin rashes, vomiting, and “farmer’s lung.”
- Suffocation. Many fatal farming accidents are linked to suffocation and asphyxiation. Aside from the constant risk of working around full grain, soybean, and wheat bins, farming buildings also tend to have low levels of ventilation, which can lead to a lack of oxygen.
- Heat stress. Working out in the hot sun or in a heated environment isn’t just uncomfortable: It can be deadly. Heat stress can lead to dizziness, dehydration, heat cramps, heart problems, and heat stroke, especially in workers approaching the age of 65. In some cases, these injuries may require immediate hospitalization.
- Limbs crushed in agricultural machinery. Like tractor overturning accidents, entanglements in heavy machinery cause a significant amount of injuries and even fatalities each year. Limbs, fingers, and other extremities can easily get caught in the complex gear, chain, and pulley mechanisms of farm equipment.
- Animal-related injuries. Although not quite as frequent as some of the other items on this list, animal injuries are also a regular occurrence in the farming industry, and they are also more likely to result in traumatic brain injuries than other agricultural injuries.
Trusted Counsel for Work-Related Injuries
If you’ve been affected by any of the injuries above, or if you know someone who has been hurt, it’s possible that your expenses may be covered through workers’ comp insurance. Although workers’ compensation is purely an employee benefit, however, some employers may be reluctant to file on your behalf, out of fear that their premiums will increase. It’s also common to get a denial the first time you file a workers’ comp claim.
No matter where you are in the claims process, our experienced team is here to stand by your side. With a State Bar Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist on staff and decades of experience in this field, Ufkes & Bright can help you secure results for your farming accident injury.
Call (714) 500-8661 today for a free consultation.