Winter Farming Dangers

Posted by robyn

There are many winter farming dangers brought on by snowstorms. These winter storms can impact farms in a number of ways. Heavy snow or ice accumulation can damage farm buildings. Power failures or fuel shortages can affect animal production. Most of all accidents or fatalities are more common in the winter months. In fact, they rise by 17%.

Types of Winter Farming Dangers

The number one cause of injury on a farm is due to machinery. The most dangerous is the tractor. In winter, tractor injuries rise. Snow, ice, and cold make operating a tractor more difficult and also more dangerous. This is according to an agricultural safety expert at North Dakota State University.

Plus, braking is difficult in the winter. Most tractors only have brakes on their rear wheels. This becomes hazardous with snow and ice. Then, when a front-end loader has a heavy load, the machine becomes very unstable. It should be noted that even tractors with front wheel assist have limited stopping ability. Unless the tractor is a four-wheel drive, it will have severely impacted braking abilities.

Be sure to use front-end loaders equipped with grapple jaws. This prevents the load from shifting. Without the grapple jaws, the hay bales can roll back and crush the operator. Additionally, human reaction time is a lot slower in the winter. Also, there is poor visibility. This can prevent a farmer from avoiding dangers in a quick manner.

Don’t Depend on Worker’s Compensation after a Farm Injury

Many are unaware that farmers aren’t always covered under the worker’s compensation system. Worker’s compensation is when an employee is entitled to a guaranteed compensation for work-related injuries, regardless of fault.  The amount of compensation is a set amount.  After an injury, the employer pays for everything. Plus, no additional legal claim can be made against the employer.

However, 16 states have exemptions for farmers.  The reason was to help small farming operations who are unable to maintain the necessary records, insurance, and accounting to properly comply with the workers’ compensation system. This also prevents increased costs. Also, these state exemptions vary widely. Some only exempt seasonal labor and others exclude family members.

Get Financial Help after a Farming Accident

As a farm worker, you are at high risk for on-the-job injuries and death. Yet many injured farmers miss the compensation they deserve when they suffer such injuries. Some are also afraid to reach out for help due to concerns over confidentiality. Others misunderstand the legal system or think they don’t have any rights.

Both these concerns are unnecessary. The Farm Injury Resource Center (FIRC) wants you to know that you do have rights, and confidential help is available.

FIRC is dedicated to providing totally confidential help and resources to injured farmers. We help you exercise your rights, so you can claim the money and other benefits. It is important to contact us after you have been injured.