People across the country rely on agricultural workers for the food they eat every day. However, they might not take into consideration the dangers that farmworkers face in Mississippi and other farming communities. In fact, as you may know, agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the country, ranking with other hazardous jobs such as construction, factory work and mining.
Agriculture is a family effort for many of the farms across America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that about 4,000 young people under the age of 20 were injured in farming accidents in 2014. Many of these were youth who lived on the farms where they performed work; others were hired in communities that rely heavily on farming for commerce. You may also find it concerning to learn that 416 farm workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2017.
What are the most hazardous farming activities, you may wonder? Transportation incidents, particularly tractor overturns, ranked as the top cause of fatal farming accidents in 2017. Other dangerous forms of agricultural labor include the following:
- Entanglements with machinery
- Falling from farm structures or being crushed in structure collapses
- Suffocation, especially within grain silos
- Injuries sustained from dangerous livestock
Farmworkers may protect themselves and others by being aware of the common risks and utilizing the proper behaviors and safety equipment to prevent accidents. Employers should provide ongoing education and training for their workers on safety protocols and correct equipment use.