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Archive for the ‘Agricultural Workers’ Accidents’ Category

What is the Busiest Time of Year for Agriculture in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s top agricultural producers, and Lancaster County leads the way.  The area, which is just an hour’s drive east of the state capital and less than two hours west of Philadelphia, ranks first in the state for the value of its agricultural crops and production, as well as its livestock and poultry. The area supplies much of the nation’s grains, vegetables, eggs, milk, and tobacco, with dairy farming the area’s leading agricultural business.

 

The county’s position as a national leader makes sense when considering that it boasts more farms than any other county in the nation. It also is a national leader in the number of food processing employees. Between the area’s 6,000 farms, wide-ranging farmland and its supporting industry, Lancaster County provides more than 51,000 jobs, with the number of employees surging during the summer, the area’s busiest time of year for agriculture.  With an increased number of people working there is a related increase in the number of work-related injuries. For the vast majority of those injured employees, workers’ compensation provides a lifeline that pays for the medical treatment that they need and the wage replacement that helps them while they recuperate.

Agricultural work is notoriously dangerous. From accidents that can occur when working with heavy machinery and equipment to injuries caused by farm animals or exposure to chemicals and pesticides, farm workers are at significant risk for injuries major and minor, and even death. Though some people believe that agricultural workers in Pennsylvania are not entitled to workers’ compensation, that is only true in some scenarios. Every farm employer who pays one agricultural worker $1,200 or more or who employs one employee for thirty days or more per year is required to provide workers’ compensation, though the state has decided that undocumented workers are not entitled to replacement wages.

Fortunately, workers who are injured on the job have the ability to pursue compensation from other sources, even if they are unable to collect workers’ compensation. Personal injury lawsuits can be filed against third parties whose actions, products or negligence have contributed to injuries, and employers who do not provide coverage are also able to be pursued for compensation. If you are a Lancaster County employee who has been injured and you need information on how we can help, contact our office today.

 

 

 

What are the Most Common Injuries to Agricultural Workers?

Farm Workers CompensationFarming may seem like an idyllic occupation, but the ability to work with agriculture and animals belies the dangers of the job. Agricultural work ranks among the most dangerous, with a very high risk for both fatal and nonfatal injury despite a number of comprehensive safety regulations having been put in place to reduce them.

Hundreds of farmers and farmworkers die each year from a work-related injury, and every day roughly 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that results in needing time away from work.

The most common injuries are a result of vehicle accidents and particularly tractor rollovers, but injuries also result from the use of equipment, heat exposure, falls, strains and sprains, exposure to pesticides and more.

The most common injuries to agricultural workers include:

  • Vehicles – Roughly half of the nation’s annual agricultural fatalities are caused by rollovers and other vehicular accidents, and there are also numerous injuries incurred as a result of vehicle rollovers and collisions.
  • Heat illness – Workers are frequently exposed to hot and humid conditions, and when this is combined with heavy work tasks or wearing heavy protective clothing, the results can be deadly.
  • Ladders and falls – Agricultural workers have a higher rate of nonfatal fall-related injuries than do workers in the transportation, mining or manufacturing industry, and roughly 40 agricultural workers die each year from these falls.
  • Sprains and strains – Whether working with crops or animals, many agricultural workers are vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries, sprains and strains from heavy lifting, pushing and pulling, and injuries from prolonged awkward postures.
  • Equipment and machinery – The equipment essential to agricultural work can be extremely dangerous. Tools such as knives and hoes and machinery such as threshers and power tools are all dangerous when not properly maintained or used according to instructions.
  • Grain bins and silos – Workers can easily become trapped in grain bins and silos that are being filled, and this leaves them vulnerable to both suffocation and grain dust exposures that can cause significant respiratory problems.
  • Unsanitary conditions – There is a notable lack of clean drinking water, handwashing facilities and sanitation in farm environments. This leaves workers at risk for disease from germs and parasites, as well as urinary tract infections due to urine retention and poisoning from agricultural products.

Agricultural workers are entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries suffered on the job. For information about filing a claim, contact our office to set up an appointment.