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Tractor Safety Is a Serious Concern for Farm Workers

Agriculture is one of the deadliest of all industries in Wisconsin and across the U.S., usually falling into the top three for fatality rates, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Tractor accidents and continual exposure to heat and pesticides are just some of the factors with tractors being by far the most crucial.

The dangers of agricultural tractors

Tractors carry mounted or semi-mounted ploughs and other implements, transport materials, and sometimes pull things like wagons and tillage equipment. Yet these vehicles can turn over, run over others or entangle the extremities through contact with attachments. Around 250 people die every year in tractor-related incidents with over half dying in overturns.

The highest risk for tractor injuries

Of all agricultural farms, fruit farms see the highest rate of tractor-related injuries: 233 injuries for every one million hours of exposure. Men and hired workers are more likely to be injured than women or family members. Age-wise, those 15 and under and adults over 65 run the greatest risk.

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs hopes to create a tractor safety training program so that both employers and employees become more aware of the risks and do what they can to reduce them. Though tractors designs have grown to be safer, there are as yet no mechanisms to detect unsafe conditions.

Seeking compensation after a tractor incident

While farm accidents can sometimes be the basis for a workers’ compensation benefits claim, many of them are due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, such as the manufacturer of a piece of defective equipment. Injured victims might want to meet with an an attorney to see what recourse they might have.

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