Lack of Injury Reporting System Hurts Farmers
Without a unified reporting system in the United States, no one knows exactly how many farmers or farm workers are being injured every year.
For the past 40 years, the National Safety Council has consistently ranked agriculture as one of the top three most hazardous occupations in the United States. This is because injuries take all forms. Injuries are not limited to a single hazard. A farm possesses a multitude of dangers including falls, burns, poisonings, machinery, livestock, and environmental hazards.
Factors that contribute to an unsafe work environment include a limited workforce with seasonal time pressures, dependency on weather conditions and variation in climatic patterns, and a stressed economy including urban-rural competition for productive farm acres. Although farmers account for 2% of the workforce population, they experience a higher rate of work-related injuries and deaths.
No Reporting System
The United States doesn’t have a unified reporting system. Manned by a single agency, this system would have the main responsibility of gathering occupational injury data. Other countries research at least 10 credible sources of work-related morbidity and mortality data. This helps comprise a better statistical model. Without this system, there are many discrepancies in the current system.
Injuries Actually Higher
One area that hurts the truth on statistics is children. Most industries do not employ those under the age of 14. Therefore, many do not look to include them injury statistics. In farming, this isn’t the case. So, no one is closing watching the true numbers of children injured on a farm.
OSHA Standards skews the current statistics. Right now, OSHA exempts any farm with fewer than 11 employees from filing injury reports. Therefore, current safety reports are actually underreported.
This doesn’t even include the stigma many farmers feel from admitting to an injury. This also causes them to not report.
It isn’t right that farmers are exposed to such high hazards on the job—especially when so many accidents could be prevented if manufacturers produced safe equipment and included warnings on their products.
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. No matter what state you live in, what your work status is, or what your nationality is, help is available. For a free and totally confidential consultation, contact the Farm Injury Resource Center.
Let us help you win the compensation you deserve.