Knowing the hazards may help Arkansas farmers and workers avoid injury.
It's harvest time in Arkansas, one of the year's busiest periods for local farmers. Unfortunately, harvest time increases the risk for farmers due to round-the-clock work with specialized, rarely used equipment, alongside the pressure to secure valuable crops. These factors heighten the potential for fatigue, accidents, and injuries. Although there is no way to stop all farm equipment accidents from happening, understanding harvest-time hazards can help farm workers avoid severe injury.
Harvest season hazards for farm workers
Even without it being harvest season, farm work is one of the most dangerous and deadly jobs in the U.S., with more than 23 deaths per 100,000 workers. Farm machinery and tractors are the largest contributing factors to the high death rate.
Farm equipment is involved in almost half of all fatal farm accidents in Arkansas, according to state data. Half the time, a tractor is involved when farm equipment is an accident factor. However, other pieces of equipment and harvest-specific machines may be dangerous, including harvesters, pickers, steer skidders, crushers, shakers, and balers.
Watch out for these harvest-time hazards on the farm:
- Tractors. The equipment's heavy weight and sharp rotating parts can cause severe harm. Lack of proper maintenance and failure to train employees in safety regulations can all contribute to accidents. Tractor rollovers and overturns are more common this time of year due to improper hitches and operators who are not properly trained to compensate for the pounds of produce they're hauling. Backovers are another common type of tractor accident.
- Defective or malfunctioning machines. Manufacturers of farming equipment have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe when used properly. A defect can cause an accident that results in someone getting hurt. The defect may be in design, manufacturing, or providing unhelpful or wrong instruction.
- Entanglement. Clothing, hair, or body parts can become caught in the spinning, grinding, picking, or crushing parts of farm machinery, causing serious injuries or even death.
- Machinery rollovers. Machinery and equipment can be put off-balance by product, extra riders, and modifications, among other things. This imbalance can cause large machinery to tip over.
- Travel. Harvesting frequently involves transporting crops using heavy machinery on the road with other vehicles.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas-powered farm equipment operating in an enclosed space can concentrate toxins to lethal levels. Lack of equipment use and storage training, leaks, and/or too much exposure may be fatal for workers.
Our attorneys fight for injured farm workers
No matter how dedicated a farmer is to worker safety, farm accidents still happen.
If you were injured in a farm equipment accident, McDaniel Law Firm, PLC in Jonesboro is here to help. Our experienced attorneys take a diligent approach to claims involving agricultural accidents, conducting thorough investigations to identify liable parties. Then, we fight hard to pursue the justice and financial compensation victims deserve.
Our law firm offers free consultations to victims of farm accidents and the families of fatal farm accident victims. A member of our team is available 24/7 to hear from you. At no cost, we can listen to what happened, answer questions, explain your potential legal options, and help you decide what to do next. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today. We proudly serve clients in Jonesboro, Northeast Arkansas, Southeast Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee.