Summer Farming Dangers
During the summer months, activity on the farm becomes increasingly busier. Coupled with those inherent dangers of harvesting, children are out for summer vacation. This means they will be near the farm activity more frequently and this can be more dangerous. This time of year is typically a potentially hazardous period, especially with dangerous vehicles and machinery. Statistics show that in the past 10 years, tractors and machinery are responsible for almost 80% of all farm deaths. Almost half of these were children’s farm deaths. Although the big machinery and all the different aspects of the farm and may intrigue children and put them in harm’s way, every area of the farm comes with some form of danger.
Machine Farming Dangers
Last year, 80% of all farm deaths were because of vehicles and/or machinery. Plus, statistics are showing that farm injuries and deaths are on the rise. Twelve people lost their lives in farming accidents in the first three months of last year compared to five in 2014.
Farming is a dangerous job, and unsafe machinery is normally the cause. Most equipment-related accidents on the farm are due to farm tractor rollovers. Others are due to being caught in running machinery, non-highway transportation accidents (not including rollovers), highway collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles, struck by falling machinery parts and equipment contacting overhead or underground power lines.
Insufficient warnings can hurt or kill a farmer or farm worker. When manufacturers fail to warn consumers about the dangers of operating the farm machinery that they design, they may be held responsible for worker injury and/or death.
For example, some machinery requires entering by climbing over operating gears that are likely to be activated by mistake. Other equipment might be relatively safe to operate in an open field but become dangerous when moved near overhead power lines. And some machines have components that continue to move for a period after being shut off. If a manufacturer does not warn a farmer or farm workers, injuries can occur.
Recently, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety released a report concerning agricultural safety for children. The data they compiled was shocking. In the United States, a child will die in a farm-related incident every three days. In addition, every day, a farm will injury 33 kids in an agriculturally related accident.
The leading cause of child fatalities on a farm is machinery. Over 25% of the time, this was the case. Motor vehicles, including ATVS, come in second. Teenagers are one of the highest groups of children at risk on a farm. This is because it is legal to use any farming equipment. This includes tractors, which are responsible for the most farming injuries.
When a tractor rolls over, the chance of injury and even death is very high. New tractors must have rollover protective structures (ROPS). ROPS provides a protective space to prevent the tractor from crushing a worker. However, the seatbelt must be worn. Without it, a farm worker can easily fall out of the seat. Then, the tractor or ROPs can crush him or her.
Not Your Fault
Remember, you don’t have to use farm equipment negligently for it to malfunction. Farm equipment malfunctions occur because companies don’t design safe machinery. Manufacturers often fail to warn you of all the ways using these heavy, complex machines can injure you.
When farmers are injured by unsafe farm machinery without adequate warnings for secure operation, it is equipment is considered “defective”. This term that applies to poor design, improper manufacturing, negligent marketing, or all three.
Consequently, 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 may be entitled to compensation.