Farming is a high-risk occupation — one that many people underestimate when it comes to exactly how risky it can be.
As fall approaches, local farms take on seasonal help in order to get through the harvest — which means that there are suddenly a lot of inexperienced hands who are filling temporary jobs without any understanding of the dangers.
If you’re taking on some field work this fall to raise a little extra money, make sure that you follow these rules:
- Wear the right clothing. Find out if you need to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants for the job you’re going to be doing, and make certain that you have the appropriate footwear. If need be, invest in a pair of steel-toed boots. The wrong clothing or size of clothing can expose you to everything from crush injuries to lost limbs if your sleeve gets caught on a piece of equipment.
- Never show up to work drunk or high and never drink or get high on the job. Imagine if you are given something like a tractor to drive while intoxicated or high — you could end up injuring or killing yourself or someone else if you hit a bump in the ground or try to take a turn too fast.
- Never agree to operate a piece of machinery that you don’t feel qualified to handle. If you haven’t handled a certain type of equipment before, insist on training by a capable teacher. Don’t accept anybody’s assurances that it’s “easy to pick up” or “just like” driving a car.
- If you have to dismount any kind of mobile equipment, like a tractor, or have to pause while operating some type of stationary equipment, like a wood chipper, shut off the equipment immediately. Do not allow it to idle while you refill the gas, check a plug, check the life of a battery or perform any other repair. The risk of being run over by mobile equipment that isn’t turned off is huge and stationary equipment that might be temporarily frozen could suddenly swing back in action, maiming or killing you.
If you’re seriously injured in a farming accident that could have been prevented, see a personal injury attorney. If you’re the dependent of someone that was killed in a preventable accident, talk to a wrongful death attorney promptly.
Source: esc.rutgers.edu, “Farm Machinery and Equipment Safety Part II: Preventing Machinery Accidents During Operation,” accessed Aug. 24, 2017