Farm Accidents at Harvest Time

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. For most, it is not just a job, it is a way of life. Agriculture is the deadliest industry in the U.S., and one of the few where it is common for the entire family to share the work and live at the workplace, whether it is their family-owned farm or someone else’s. Harvest time, which comes in the fall, is the most work-intensive and the most dangerous.

Farm Accidents and Injuries

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • There were 374 farm work-related deaths in 2012. That’s 20.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.
  • About 167 agricultural workers are injured each day, with injuries serious enough to cause them to lose time on-the-job. Five percent of those injuries cause permanent impairment.
  • An average of 113 youth, under 20 years old, die every year from farm injuries.
  • It is estimated that 14,000 youth were injured on farms in 2012 and that farm work was the cause of 2,700 of those injuries

Harvest is the Most Dangerous Time

Harvest is the most dangerous time of year for farmers for many reasons. There is a lot of work to get done during harvest, and timing is critical. The hours are long and the work is back-breaking, causing serious fatigue. On top of that, there is the stress of trying to get everything done on time, worrying about the weather which can suddenly turn bad and ruin crops, and much more. And then there is the heavy machinery that is used during harvest, which may or may not be in good condition and which many farmers simply cannot afford to repair or replace.

Sharing the Road

Fall is also the time of year when you are most likely to encounter slow-moving farm equipment on the roads in rural areas. Farmers are the reason you will have something to eat today. They work harder and get paid less than most workers in the U.S., at great risk. When you see them on the road, have patience, be courteous, and use caution.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.