OSHA Working with Agriculture Community to Promote Safety Education

As the harvest season continues it is important to focus on safety in the agriculture industry.

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Our Greenville worker’s compensation lawyers are knowledgeable about the inherent hazards of working in the agriculture industry and devoted to educating farm workers about safety.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration the agriculture industry account for approximately 475 deaths in the year 2012. The fatality rate in the agriculture sector was 21.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.

When compared with all workers the rate of 21.2 is frighteningly high. The overall fatality rate for United States workers was 3.2 per 100,000 full time workers. This means the agricultural industry experiences deaths at a rate 7 times greater than the overall fatality rate in the United States.

Agriculture workers experience a variety of nonfatal and fatal injuries including: cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, and heat exposure.

A large number of deaths in the agriculture sector resulted from grain engulfment’s. As a result, OSHA has provided information related to common hazards in the grain industry and methods of abatement.

Important topics include sweep auger use and proper techniques for entering large bins of grain.

Another important safety concern in the agriculture industry involves vehicle hazards. In the year 2011 accidents involve vehicles were responsible for almost half of all fatalities in the agricultural industry.

Tractors and harvesters are responsible for a large number of deaths every year and have accounted for 1,533 deaths between 2003 and 2011.

Tractors remain the leading cause of injury and death on farms with rollovers being the single most deadly type of incident.

Despite the well known dangers of tractor rollover only about 60% of tractors in the United States have rollover protective structures.

Compiled data shows that tractor rollovers occurred at over 3,000 separate operations in a period of 12 months. Data also shows that nearly 1 in 10 farms have had a tractor rollover occur at some point.

When an operator is injured as the result of a rollover without rollover protective structures, the operator misses an average of almost 98 days of work. When an operator is injured as the result of a rollover but the tractor has rollover protection and a seat belt the operator misses an average of 22 days of work (if they were injured at all).

It is important not to focus only on deaths when discussing tractor safety because for every single person killed in a tractor accident another four workers are injured.

Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Posts:

Booming Construction Industry: More Work Injuries?, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2013

Eliminating Violence in the Workplace benefits Employees and Employers, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 27, 2013.

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