Defective Farm Equipment

Posted by robyn

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corn-combineFarming is one of the most dangerous jobs. Often, it is due to the relying on hazardous machinery. Every year, defective farm equipment kills hundreds of farmers and injures thousands.

Many farmers purchase comprehensive warranties on their equipment. This usually covers any machine defects that occur. However, the corporations who drafted the warranties use large legal departments to minimize their responsibly to correct a defect. Many also find that the fine print has even rendered the warranty useless.

 

Types of Defective Farm Equipment:

Farm machinery manufacturers have a legal responsibility to ensure their products are safe. Too often companies put profits before safety, and machinery injures workers.

There are usually three common types of farm equipment defects.

Manufacturing Defects

This occurs when mistakes during the assembly process cause loose or missing fasteners and other defects. Often, this results in severe and sometimes fatal injuries.

Design Defects

When a company designs equipment without proper safety guards, shutoff switches, and protective enclosures agricultural workers are at risk. This happens all too often.

Some examples of design defects are:

  • Pinch points—points at which two objects on the machine make contact, with at least one of them moving in a circle.
  • Wrap points—any exposed, rotating machine component attached at one end to a piece of equipment. These can catch on clothing and limbs, pulling them into the machine.
  • Freewheeling points—after a farmer turns off the equipment, farm equipment parts, such as rotary motor blades and baler flywheels, continue to rotate.
  • Spring points—released springs, which cause injury.
  • Hydraulic lifts and hoses—hydraulic lifts that raise and support heavy objects and assist in steering and braking equipment can fail and crush a worker. This equipment also can eject high-pressure blasts of oil that can burn eyes and skin. Leaky hydraulic hoses can emit toxic fluids that can burn.

Marketing Defects

Every year, equipment lacking necessary instruction manuals or product labels injure farm workers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires manufacturers to test their product to see the possible risks. The company must list all risks associated with their product on a warning label or in the instructions for use of the product. The company is also obligated to warn of the dangers of misusing the product. While a product does not have to cause injury to warrant failure to warn, marketing defects are typically found after a product injures consumers. When a company does not do this, farmers and farm workers are injured.

Holding Manufacturers Responsible for Defective Farm Equipment

Holding the manufacturers and sellers of defective farm equipment accountable not only helps the person injured, but also helps deter the manufacturer from continuing to use defective products. Many successful defective product lawsuits result in recalls of the defective product, which prevents injuries to others and dissuades the manufacturer from cutting corners in the future.

Defective farm equipment design could have caused your injury from a farming accident. That means: You are not at fault, and you deserve compensation!  Depending on the case, a variety of parties may be held responsible for defective farm equipment injuries, which may include companies that design, sell, lease, or furnish equipment to farmers.         

Manufacturers who design and distribute unsafe machinery should pay you for losses you suffer due to using their products. Contact the Farm Injury Resource Center for a free, confidential consultation.