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National Farm Safety and Health Week – A Reminder of Risk of Georgia Ag Accidents

There were close to 500 people who were killed on the job in the agriculture sector in 2012. That’s a current fatality rate of more than 21 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers — the highest fatality rate of any sector. In addition to these fatalities, there were more than 48,000 injuries recorded throughout the year in this industry in 2011 (which is the last year these statistics are available).
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To help to keep these workers safe, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched “Working Together for Safety in Agriculture – National Farm Safety and Health Week”. This week-long campaign is used to help to shine light on the importance of safe work environments for these employees.

There are plenty of opportunities for a work accident in Atlanta, especially in the agricultural field. These workers face serious risks for accidents while working with farm equipment, working in confined spaces and various other dangers. And that’s exactly why this week-long safety campaign has been running every year since 1944. The risks are very real in September and October as farmers prepare to work the harvest.

These workers are also at serious risk for skin diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat exposure, work-related lung diseases and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure.

Every day, more than 240 agricultural workers suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment. Workers in agricultural operations for both crop and animal production typically use repetitive motions in awkward positions and which can cause musculoskeletal injuries.

And don’t forget about the grain handling industry. This is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards. Some of these hazards include amputations from grain handling equipment, falls from heights and crushing injuries, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins as well as fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation.

The main problem with grain bins is that behavior and weight make it extremely tough for a worker to get out without any kind of assistance. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents result usually in multiple-fatalities because coworkers attempt to rescue victims and wind up in the mess as well.

The control of worker’s exposure to hazards in grain handling facilities is addressed in the OSHA standard for grain handling facilities, as well as in other general industry standards. These standards reduce the risk to workers by requiring that employers follow established, common sense safety practices when working in grain handling facilities.

You can start by increasing your awareness of farming hazards and making a conscious effort to prepare for emergency situations including fires, vehicle accidents, electrical shocks from equipment and wires, and chemical exposures. Be especially alert to hazards that may affect children and the elderly. Minimize hazards by carefully selecting the products you buy to ensure that you provide good tools and equipment.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.

More Blog Entries:

Workplace Eye Safety Advice For Employers and Employees, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, September 30, 2013

Georgia Work Accidents – Top 10 Violations Show Injuries Often Forseeable, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, September 1, 2013