Farming is consistently rated as one of the most dangerous jobs in America, according to agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This means that those heading to fields, orchards and vineyards across California this spring are at risk of agriculture injuries.
As you prepare to begin the season’s work, it’s important for you to be aware of the risks involved, to know what you can do to protect yourself, and to be prepared for what to do next should you be hurt.
In addition to the types of accidents that immediately come to mind, back problems and other skeletal issues can be caused by machinery, and the stooping and bending movements required to plant, tend and pick crops. Agriculture injuries also include respiratory, neurological and circulatory problems that can be created by breathing dust and being exposed to chemicals.
Many agriculture injuries can be prevented by ensuring that proper safety equipment and devices are available and used. It’s important that you are provided with adequate training for how to operate machinery, handle chemicals and do other tasks.
Falling is a common cause of farm injuries. Use provided holds when getting onto or off of equipment and vehicles. Wear appropriate non-slip shoes for whatever type of work you are doing on a particular day.
Fatigue and inattention are often a contributing factor in agriculture injuries. Try to be well rested and avoid having to rush a job. Don’t talk on your cell phones or send text messages while doing farm work. Be sure that any medications you are using are not going to impair your judgement or slow your reflexes if you are operating machinery or in a work situation that may require you to respond quickly.
If you are injured, it’s important that you seek medical attention. Even if your injury doesn’t seem like an emergency, you should still be checked out by a doctor. Tell those providing you care, whether at a hospital or doctor’s office, that you were injured at work. You should promptly file a worker’s compensation claim after treatment.
If you were injured while working in the agricultural industry, you may need legal representation to safeguard your interests or help you recover the compensation that you are entitled to. Give the experienced attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin a call today to discuss the circumstances of your situation.