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Agriculture workers at risk for serious injuries

Along with construction, agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries for workers, reportedly. In 2012, authorities estimated that the agriculture industry employed more than 1,850,000 workers, approximately half of whom were under the age of 20. Those in Oklahoma may be intrigued to hear that many workers in the industry are at risk for suffering injuries or even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, some 14,000 youth workers suffered injuries while on farms in 2012 alone. Approximately 167 workers suffer injuries every single day. These injuries often result in lost work time. Moreover, approximately eight or nine of those injured every day will suffer permanent disabilities or impairments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates higher numbers of injuries, with an injury rate of 3.8 per 100 workers.

Fatalities for farmers or agriculture workers are also high. In 2012, the CDC reported, 374 workers lost their lives in farming accidents. Every year, an average of 113 of the fatalities are individuals under the age of 20. The top three causes of death for youths working on farms included death by machinery, such as tractors, death involving motor vehicles, including ATVs, and drowning.

Workplace accidents can result in workers missing time from work despite still being responsible for expensive medical bills. While the state of Oklahoma requires that employers have insurance for their workers, not all injured workers will be found eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When claims are denied but the injured person has evidence that the accident happened on the job, an attorney may assist the injured worker, protect the worker's rights and advocate the worker's case through an appeals process.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Agricultual Safety", December 08, 2014

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