Agricultural workers face incredible hazards every day they are on the job. Farmers are at high risk for both fatal and non-fatal injuries. Farmworkers sustain injuries and illnesses in a variety of ways and understanding the risks that farmers face is important.
Farmworker Injury Statistics
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there are more than two million full-time workers employed in agricultural production in the US. However, those workers are supplemented with around 1.4 to 2.1 million hired crop workers who operate on a seasonal basis.
- There was an estimated 893,000 total youth under the age of 20 who resided on farms during a recent reporting year, with around 454,000 youth performing farm work. In addition to those youth who live on farms, around 266,000 youth are hired each year to perform agricultural work.
- The CDC says that 416 farmers died from work-related injuries during the latest reporting year. This results in a fatality rate of 20.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. The CDC also reports that around 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury every day.
While most people inherently understand that farm work is dangerous, statistics show that it may be far more dangerous then we realize. An NPR news report says that “Federal agencies responsible for tracking farm injuries and illnesses fail to report 77 percent of the physical calamities before farmers and their workers.”
NPR explains that the government relies on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. However, other researchers used data from various sources to gain a clearer picture of how often farm workers are injured. NPR found that the government’s numbers were also lower because they focused on larger farms and tended to exclude small and family-owned operations.
Problem With Underreporting
Another major factor in the underreporting copied incidents is a large number of undocumented agricultural workers. A recent survey found that approximately half of all hired workers in US crop agriculture are undocumented, and these immigrants fear that reporting their injuries will result in punishment.
Some of the most common farm work injuries include:
- Overturning tractors and heavy machinery
- Toxic chemical exposure to pesticides
- Heat stress/heat stroke
- Limbs crushed in agricultural machinery
- Animal-related injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
Do I Have a Case?
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury while working on a farm, you may be entitled to compensation. These cases can become complicated, and determining whether or not workers’ compensation insurance applies is important. In some cases, an injured worker may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation.
To determine whether or not you have a case, you should speak to a skilled farm worker injury attorney at the Ciccarelli Law Offices today. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to, which can include:
- Coverage of all medical bills related to the incident
- Your rightful compensation if you cannot work
- Loss of future earnings and earning potential
If your employer was grossly negligent, or if the injuries were the result of a third party, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well. You can contact our Philadelphia workers compensation attorneys by clicking here for a free consultation or calling 215-228-0100.