Working in agriculture is one of the most hazardous jobs in the United States. Most farm accidents occur between May and September when farmers are in their busiest season with planting and harvesting.

While there’s no way to avoid all risk, there are ways to prevent and protect employees, yourself, and your farm from the majority of common workplace injuries.

If you own or work on a farm, it’s essential to understand prevalent agricultural accidents and how to reduce risk. Please keep reading for three common farm accidents and how to prevent them.

  1. Overturning Tractors

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), tractor overturns are the leading cause of death among farmworkers. Approximately 130 deaths from an overturned tractor occur each year. These incidents typically take place quickly, leaving the operator with little chance of avoiding serious injury.

Accident Protection

When operated properly, tractors are generally safe forms of farm equipment. Despite this, accidents are often unavoidable, and protective measures may prevent injury.

You can reduce the risk of injury during a tractor overturn if the tractor has a ROPS and the operator is wearing a seatbelt. A ROPS is a cage frame or rollbar that forms a protective barrier around the driver if the tractor overturns.

Accident Prevention

There are preventative measures that should be practiced when operating a tractor to avoid personal injury.

Train your employees to follow these steps:

  • Fasten seat belt when the tractor has a ROPS
  • Avoid ditches, embankments, and holes
  • Stay off steep slopes
  • Reduce speed when turning
  • Operate as smooth as possible
  • Stay attentive to the surrounding environment
  1. Falls

There are many situations on a farm where farmers are required to work high off the ground. Many scenarios leave farmworkers at risk for severe falls from scaling barns, standing on silos, operating heavy machinery, to climbing trees.

Prevent Injuries

Hold regular meetings with your employees to assess safety hazards and to outline emergency procedures. Read and follow the instructions in all machinery and operator’s manuals and conduct routine inspections of your equipment to determine problems that may contribute to a falling accident.

Reduce Liability

Reduce your liability by staying educated and aware of the happenings on your farm. Ensure all workers and employees have been adequately trained and have undergone health screenings before operating special equipment or performing challenging tasks.

If you have undergone a personal injury and need assistance, it may be wise to seek counsel from this firm for advice on how to handle your situation legally.

  1. Toxic Chemical Exposure

After overturned tractors and falls from heights, injuries due to toxic chemical exposure are among the most common farm accidents. Long-term use of certain pesticides and other common agricultural chemicals can cause breathing problems, rashes, vomiting, farmer’s lung, and certain types of cancer.

Educate and train your staff on the risks, proper uses, and protective measures when dealing with toxic chemicals. Often it’s not a single incident that leads to injury but rather prolonged exposure. Ensure you have all necessary protective measures in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of yourself, your staff, and the surrounding community.

Prevent and Protect Against Farm Accidents

While agricultural work is one of the most hazardous professions, there are ways to prevent and protect your staff and yourself from common farm accidents. Stay up to date on the latest safety protocols and take the time to train and educate your employees on how they can keep themselves protected from severe injuries.

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