Farm use corn pickers and combines to harvest corn. A corn picker strips the stalks close to the ground using a pronged header. It then feeds them into a combine, which husks them with huge, sharp, rotating rollers. A conveyor belt carries the husked ears further into the machine, where they are dropped into a large, moving container.
Corn pickers and combines cause numerous injuries and deaths.
Did You Know?
According to the National Agricultural Safety Database, “Virtually every farmer knows of a family member, friend or neighbor who has been injured in a corn picker.”
- Corn pickers’ rollers are responsible for many farm worker injuries because the corn stalks tend to plug them if the machine is moving, either too quickly or slowly. Workers attempting to free the stalk can lose their hands and arms as the rollers continue to rotate because the rollers rotate at about 12 feet per second. That means a farmworker holding a stalk, even at a distance of three feet away from a roller, has less than half a second to let go.
- Many deaths occur when operating combines that use hydraulic cylinders to hold the combine up. If the cylinders fail, the combine falls, crushing them beneath it.
- Some modern corn pickers & combines are larger than a typical vehicle lane of a highway. Consequently, driving them on public roads creates the potential for accidents.
Farm equipment manufacturers are often held legally responsible when the machines they design and market are found to be defective. The following corn picker/combine accident cases show the types of compensation that you may be entitled to if you have suffered injury or the loss of a loved one due to a corn picker / combine accident:
- Settlement for $2.9 million−A Wisconsin man’s legs and one arm were amputated after being caught in a corn picker. The jury found that the manufacturer should have provided an emergency stop on the machine, which would have prevented his severe and disabling injuries.
- Settlement for $750,000−A 24-year-old man was injured after the combine operator inadvertently activated the header. The man, who was standing on the corn header prongs, was knocked off balance and fell into the corn header. The combine subsequently drew him in. Due to the severity of his injuries, his left leg was later amputated below the knee.
Avoiding Corn Picker & Combine Accidents
There are many safety precautions you can take when operating corn pickers and combines. No matter how many safety precautions you take, however, you need to remember that corn pickers are dangerous machines, and when you’re injured by one, the manufacturer may be held accountable for defective manufacturing or for failing to provide proper safety warnings.
That means: You are not at fault, and you deserve compensation!
Compensation is Available
If you are an injured farm worker, if one of your family members has been injured or died driving a corn picker, or if you have lost wages due to corn picker injury, you may be entitled to compensation—including payments over and above Worker’s Compensation.
Manufacturers who design and distribute unsafe machinery should pay you for losses you suffer due to using their products.
For a free and totally confidential consultation, contact the Farm Injury Resource Center.