When most people think of workplace accidents, they imagine claims for carpal tunnel syndrome or a fall from a ladder at a construction site. While these types of accidents can and do occur in workplaces across the country, some of the most serious workplace injuries are actually the result of farm accidents. Most of these accidents involve dangerous agricultural or farming equipment.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that of the thousands of fatal accidents that took place on farms, as many as 37% involved tractors. Farm accident injuries can be catastrophic, leading to permanent disability, so if you or a loved one were injured as a farm worker, it is critical to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim for damages.
Common Farm Equipment Accidents
Working on a farm requires employees to be in close proximity to potentially dangerous equipment. For this reason, many employees are injured in the following types of farm accidents every year:
- Tractor roll overs;
- Machinery or storage failure, resulting in collapse;
- Being struck by falling machinery;
- Being pulled into machinery;
- Collisions with drivers when transporting farm equipment on roadways; and
- Suffocation from fumes or entrapment.
Tractors in particular have proved to be especially dangerous to farm employees. In fact, tractors are the most frequent cause of fatal and disabling farm accident-related injury. The most common types of tractor accidents are runover and overturn accidents. Tragically, many of the deaths caused by overturn and runover tractor accidents could have been prevented if tractors had been equipped with rollover protective structures and seat belts. However, tractors are not the only type of machinery involved in farm accidents, as many people are injured when they:
- Are struck by or against combines while performing maintenance; and
- Become entangled in belts, chains, power takeoffs, and gears of the mechanisms in crop gathering machinery.
While some of these kinds of accidents are caused by user error, many are the result of defective manufacturing, failing to repair equipment, and failing to train employees on the equipment’s proper use.
Other Types of Farm Accidents
There are a variety of risks present on farms besides proximity to dangerous machinery. For instance farm workers and visitors are much more likely to be injured by livestock than the average person. Propane explosions and auto accidents caused by animals that have wandered into the road also cause hundreds of injuries every year. Farmers and their employees also have higher rates of respiratory diseases, dermatitis, certain cancers, noise-induced hearing loss, and chemical toxicity than other workers. Exposure to airborne dust and the antigens found in spoiled grain can cause asthma, organic dust toxic syndrome, chronic bronchitis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, among other diseases. Farmers and farm workers are also exposed to pesticides, which can cause toxic reactions, resulting in dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, headache, and skin rashes.
Texas, like most states, has a workers’ compensation program that provides injured employees with benefits to cover medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. Unlike most types of employment, farm work is not covered by workers’ compensation, so most farmers must obtain farm liability insurance instead. This means that an injured party can file claims against negligent employers, as well as third parties.
Call Our Legal Team Today
If you were injured while working on or visiting a farm, please call Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 737-201-0543 to schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.