Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys mourn alongside thousands of University of North Carolina fans and supporters the passing of 54-year-old Rob Hogan, who died earlier this month October after complications sustained from a tractor accident on his family farm.
Friends recalled Hogan as an avid Carolina fan who “knew from the time he was 4 that he wanted to be a farmer”, the Daily Tar Heel reports. Hogan was a multi-generational dairy farmer and cattle rancher whose family has lived and farmed in the region for 250 years. Despite his attending rival school North Carolina State University, he and his family were perhaps best known for also passing down caretaker duties to UNC’s living ram mascot, Rameses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agriculture remains one of the largest industries in the U.S., employing more than 2.1 million salaried and self-employed workers in 2008. While the majority of farms can be described as smaller, family-operated, enterprises, the bulk of crop and animal production – about 74 percent – is generated by 10 percent of large-scale farming operations. Given the nature of agriculture technology and agri-business, the trend toward consolidation is expected to continue as large family farms and corporate agri-endeavors consume smaller family operations.
Regardless of the size of the ranch or farm, agriculture workers face a number of hazards in exchange for a variable – albeit round-the-clock – work schedule that finds employees mostly outdoors and working independently in an exclusively rural and physically-demanding environment. Exposure to sun damage, chemical fertilizers and pesticides can cause skin and lung diseases. Large, loud and dangerous farm equipment can lead to hearing loss, muscle and soft tissue injuries, even broken bones or limb loss. Working with livestock also carries additional risk.
Because many farms are family operations, agriculture is one of the few industries where families can experience first-hand the physical, emotional and economic impacts of a job-related injury or fatality. Given the rural setting of most farm environments, access to adequate and immediate medical care in the event of an emergency can impact mortality rates when a serious work-related accident occurs.
The North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being injured in a work-related accident comes with physical, emotional and financial consequences. Contacting our offices online or by phone at 1-800-887-1965 to schedule a free consultation can help you better understand your rights. Our service area spans Asheville to Charlotte to Hendersonville to Shelby and all points in between.