Farm workers across the country are at a very high risk for occupational injuries, many of them fatal. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) ranks agriculture among the most hazardous employable industries.
According to the government agency, between 2003 and 2011, 5,816 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries in the US. In that time frame, the fatality rate for agricultural workers was seven times higher than the rate for all workers in private industry. Ohio has reported the sixth most farming-related fatalities in the country.
Many of these accidents are preventable, and each year farm equipment accidents generate millions in settlements and verdicts for victims. Most commonly, the cause of injury is human error though product liability issues cannot be discounted.
The Lyon Firm has the resources and knowledge to work alongside engineering and medical experts to determine the root cause of farming accidents. Joe Lyon has experience developing evidence and presenting the highest quality arguments on behalf of injured parties and their family.
According to the U.S. Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), tractor accidents are the most common source of deaths and severe injuries, most frequently in the form of rollovers. Most overturn injuries could be prevented by roll cages and seat belts, yet only one-third of U.S. tractors are equipped with basic safety devices.
An effective way to prevent tractor overturn deaths is to install Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS). However, as of 2012, less than 60 percent of tractors used on farms in the U.S. were equipped with ROPS.
Other common catastrophic farm accidents include:
• Machinery entanglements
• Animal-related injuries
• Silo and grain bin accidents
An estimated 500 to 600 people die in tractor related accidents each year. Tractor rollovers account for the vast majority of accidents, most of which can be prevented with proper use and safety measures. Other farm-related accidents include the following equipment:
• Power drives
• Hay bailers
• Corn pickers
• Barn cleaners
• Faulty hand tools
In 2011, the injury rate for agricultural workers was over 40 percent higher than the rate for all other workers in the U.S. Every day, over 240 agricultural workers suffer an injury that prevents them from working. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment. Common non-fatal injuries include:
• Burn injuries
• Crush Injuries
• Traumatic Eye Injuries
• Degloving Injuries
• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Traumatic Brain Injuries
• Orthopedic Trauma
Following a farm accident involving a defective product or negligent human error, victims should contact an experienced lawyer to investigate.
Joe Lyon is a highly rated and experienced Ohio catastrophic injury and product liability injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact such an injury or death has on the victim’s life and family.
The majority of injuries and deaths that occur on farms are associated with some degree of human error, though many often also involve malfunctioning or defective equipment. Both farm equipment manufacturers and companies managing farms have a duty to ensure a safe workplace.
The most obvious and preventable reasons accidents occur include:
• Inadequate Training
• Improper equipment maintenance or repair
• Defective Machine Design—safety shutdown malfunction
• Breach of equipment warranty
• Safety Violations—Removal of a safety device (shields or rollover protection)
• Ineffective supervision
• Blatant inattention
• Reckless misuse of equipment
• Failure of equipment manufacturer to warn of foreseeable hazards
• Inadequate warning labels
The Lyon Firm works with construction experts, engineers, and OSHA safety experts to determine the root cause of farming accidents to build a compelling case and win compensation for injured victims and their families.
Farm accidents that cause respiratory disease and chemical exposure are difficult to track, but no less hazardous. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancers of the skin, stomach, brain, and other diseases have “excessive occurrences” in farm workers that are exposed to pesticides, fertilizers, and other common chemicals.
As an example, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now say Roundup, one of the most widely used weed killers in the world, “probably” causes cancer.
Glysophate, the chemical agent used in Roundup, has been detected in food, water and in the air after it has been sprayed, according to the WHO report.
People working on or living near farms where glyphosate is used are the most vulnerable. Studies have found glyphosate in farmworkers’ blood and urine.
Research links the chemical to the following:
• Increased risks of cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
• Tumor formation
• Birth defects
• Respiratory disruption
The legal options available to victims depend on what caused the farming accident and injury. Complex liability questions and future healthcare plans require the attention of an attorney experienced in product liability and industrial lawsuits.
In many past incidents, farm equipment has been found to be inherently flawed or malfunctioned. If machinery is found to have a faulty design or missing safety components, victims and their attorneys can file suit against large equipment manufacturers.
Victims of accidents are encouraged not to remove any social media postings or make any statements to insurance companies or private investigators without first speaking with a qualified attorney.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury involving farm work, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.