When North Carolina residents think of farm workers, they may think of farmers spending long idyllic days in the open air and rolling hills. However, the reality of the situation is that a farmer’s life has become very mechanized. Farm workers are surrounded by complicated machinery that they may not be able to operate properly. In fact, agriculture work has been ranked as the most dangerous industry in the country.
No matter what industry a worker is employed in, employers are obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Even though the number of workplace injuries has gone down in recent years because of improvement in machinery, the unfortunate reality is that farmers are still getting hurt on the job.
Farm equipment has many moving parts, and, if workers have any piece of loose clothing, it may become entangled in the various moving parts. The matter came under the microscope again after a tragic accident took place on a farm when a farm worker operating a machine became trapped in it, and died as a result of his injuries.
Machines now have more safety features installed, which has contributed to improving working conditions on farm, but there are still some precautions both employees and employers can take to ensure worker safety in the agriculture industry. Maintaining farm equipment and following manufacturer’s recommendations on how to operate machines correctly are two ways injuries can be avoided.
Despite precautions, it is still possible that North Carolina workers can become hurt on the job. It is an injured worker’s right to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover costs for medical expenses and compensation for taking time off from work because of the injury. Reporting the injury also raised awareness about unsafe working conditions, and may make the workplace safer for everyone else.
Source: Your News Now, “Farm worker’s death highlights safety concerns,” Tamara Lindstrom, Feb. 6, 2013.