Agricultural Hazards for Young Employees

Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S. Every year, more than 2 million people under 20 years old are exposed to farm-related hazards. As a result, many young people are killed or injured working in U.S. agriculture. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo for advice about your particular situation.

Some of the more dangerous farm-related injuries occur due to:

Tractors. Tractors are involved in a high proportion of farm injuries and death due to roll-overs, run-overs, collisions, and exposure to moving parts. A tractor driver needs familiarity with driving and maturity to safely respond to dangerous conditions. Young workers (even those who have driver’s licenses) may not be experienced enough to safely operate tractors.

Machinery. Most farm accidents and fatalities involve machinery, such as getting hit by, run over, or entangled in machinery. Proper machine guarding and maintenance pursuant to manufacturer’s specification can help prevent accidents. A related hazard is hearing loss from exposure to loud farm machinery such as tractors, grain dryers, combines, chain saws, and grain grinders.

Falls. Falls are the most common type of accident in agriculture. Falls often result in serious injury or death. Falls of just 12 feet can be fatal. Many falls occur because of slips and trips and can be avoided by wearing proper shoes and following safe work procedures.

Chemicals. Pesticides can be dangerous if you are working in fields that have been treated or sprayed with them or when handling and applying them. Pesticides can enter your body in several ways, including simple contact through skin and clothes, breathing chemicals in mist, dust, fumes, or smoke, and poisoning by not washing hands before eating.

Exposure. Young farm workers are exposed to many environmental hazards that are potentially harmful to their health. Farmers and farm workers suffer from increased rates of respiratory diseases, skin disorders, certain cancers, chemical toxicity, and heat-related illnesses.

Body Strain. Repetitive prolonged reaching, bending, and lifting can lead to back strains and sprains.

If you’ve been injured at work, New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo may be able to help. Call today for a case evaluation.

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