While many see farming as bucolic, farmers know it takes diligence and hard work. Plying their trade comes with daily dangers. In fact, the agricultural industry is considered one of the most hazardous industries, with countless workers at higher risks of serious and fatal injuries. Being one of the few industries where family members work together, catastrophe occurs far too close to home.
As of 2020, around 2.1 million full-time workers were involved in production agriculture throughout the United States. Up to 2.1 million hired crop workers last year. About 893,000 crop workers under 20 live on farms as of 2014, with 51 percent also working. Estimates reveal about 266,000 young people were hired on farms during the same year.
Agricultural professionals and those in the forestry, fishing, and hunting industries accounted for the highest fatal injury rates and saw 20 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. Employees in all other sectors average 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.
The top cause of fatalities involves farming transportation. Tractor overturns, and road collisions accounted for the most fatalities for both farmers and farm workers. Not far behind where object and equipment contact, violence committed by a person or animal, and trip, slips, and falls.
Workers who are 55 years old and older are most likely to die while working, accounting for nearly two-thirds of deaths.
The risks of farming can bring tremendous rewards. However, success at the cost of lives being lost requires a deeper look at the hazards that can take lives. Help from a skilled attorney with experience in this complex area of law can help secure a sense of justice.