Working in farming and agriculture comes with its share of risks. Due to the dangerous nature of the industry, those who work in this field face many hazards in their daily work.
The nature of agricultural activities, combined with heavy machinery, unpredictable weather conditions and demanding tasks, contributes to a high rate of injuries and fatalities for workers.
A leading cause of injuries and fatalities in agriculture is machinery mishaps. The reliance on heavy equipment, such as tractors, combines and other tools, exposes farmers to significant risks. Accidents can occur during operation or maintenance. Many such incidents lead to severe injuries or even death. The complexity of these machines and the demanding nature of farm work require constant vigilance to minimize the potential for mishaps. Adherence to safety protocols is also an important part of injury avoidance.
Agricultural workers often handle a variety of chemicals, including pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. Prolonged exposure to these substances can have detrimental effects on health. Chronic illnesses, respiratory issues and skin conditions can all develop. Inadequate protective measures can amplify the risks, highlighting the need for comprehensive training and strict adherence to safety guidelines.
Farmers are at the mercy of unpredictable weather patterns. These patterns can have significant implications for their safety. Adverse weather conditions, such as storms, floods or extreme temperatures, pose immediate threats to those working in the fields. Beyond the physical dangers, these weather-related challenges can also impact crop yields and contribute to economic instability for farmers.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture reports that there were 573 deaths among workers in the sector in 2019. The injury rate for agricultural workers is also 23.1 per every 100,000 workers. By understanding risks and implementing stringent safety measures, employers can work toward creating a safer environment for the hardworking individuals who contribute to the nation’s food supply.