Hay Baler Injuries: The Aftermath

Posted by robyn

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haybalerAll farm equipment can pose a hazard to farmers. Most reports and warnings published are tractor-related. But, there is not much reporting on hay balers.  A hay baler is a piece of farm machinery. The equipment compresses, cuts and rakes crops. Then, it turns the crops into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store. Since this equipment accounts for many devastating injuries and is underreported, researchers at the Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care decided to follow the outcome of 21 patients after they experienced a hay baler injury to an extremity.

Researchers followed the patients over a 30-month period. Then, they placed those injured from a hay baler into five different categories according to where the injury occurred and the severity. Researchers discovered the patients underwent an average of three operations and spent almost 12 days in the hospital. Additionally, the infection rate was 33%. Out of the 21 patients, 11 regained good function to an extremity. However, four had mediocre results, and six had poor results. The more operations a patient had the higher their infection rate.

This means that the hundreds of farmers who suffer amputations, loss of skin and tissue and other bodily mutilations from hay balers each year not only either lost functionality in a limb but also lost significant outcome from the injury.  The National Safety Council claims farmers could prevent hay baler accidents. They say farmers should equip balers with adequate safety equipment, post appropriate precautions and warnings,  and give proper use instructions. Unfortunately, injuries sustained because of working with farm equipment are rarely attributable to the farmer who uses them. Most of the time, it is the manufacturer’s fault since they designed defective machinery.

You Are Not Alone

If you are an injured farm worker, if one of your family members has been injured or died working on a farm, or if you have lost wages due to injury, you are entitled to payments to help you recover medical and other costs.

Farm who are injured or killed on the job may be eligible to receive payment for several types of compensation, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Skills training
  • Lost income
  • Physical suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability benefits
  • Death

No matter what state you live in, what your work status is, or what your nationality is, help is available.