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Common dangers that agricultural workers face

Now that spring is almost here, farm workers will be getting ready for planting and hard work throughout the summer. The many agricultural laborers in Illinois will face numerous dangers this season. Farm accidents can cause some of the most devastating workplace injuries ever seen, as well as tragic fatalities.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, agricultural work ranks up with construction and highway work as one of the country's most dangerous industries. In fact, Bankrate states that farm labor is the eighth most hazardous job in America. In 2012, 374 farm workers in the U.S. lost their lives, and thousands more were injured. Agricultural work is unique in the fact that countless numbers of young people working on farms are put at risk, including children who work on family farms. It is estimated that 113 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die each year in farm accidents.

What are some of the worst dangers that agricultural workers face on the job? According to Western Farm Press, tractor overturns are the most common type of farming accident. Workers are also frequently injured by falling or being knocked off tractors and then run over by the vehicles. Other common accidents include the following:

  • Grain bin suffocations
  • Livestock goring and trampling
  • Power line accidents
  • Accidents involving large machinery

Machinery accidents can be particularly devastating. The machines commonly used on farms, including hay balers, threshers and other large mechanical equipment, can entrap a worker in an instant if a piece of clothing or body part is stuck in a moving part. Farm workers may protect themselves by being aware of the numerous dangers surrounding them and observing proper safety procedures at all times.

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