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Farm safety is a vital concern

As many Oklahoma residents know, farming is a hazardous yet necessary occupation. In light of the contribution farmers make to the United States, every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has honored National Farm Safety and Health Week. Each year, special emphasis is placed on the safety measures farmers need to take.

In 2013, 500 deaths were linked to farming, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That accounts for 23.2 fatalities for every 100,000 farm workers. Many of the deaths may be prevented by implementing policies to keep workers safe. Some dangerous occurrences involve toxic chemicals and farm machinery that is dangerous to use. Farms may have grain elevators or silos, both of which have many associated hazards.

Large corporate farms as well as smaller ones need to take worker safety into consideration. Workers need to be reminded how to handle equipment and chemicals safely, and they need to know when to report broken or damaged equipment. Grain silos are of particular concern, and workers need to take necessary safety precautions.

The fall harvest is one of the most dangerous times of the year. Putting emphasis on safety procedures may help save lives. Hauling farm produce is another area where accidents happen. Taking precautions when loading and securing harvested crops for transit may help avoid accidents. Inspecting the transport vehicles for safety beforehand may be a good idea.

Workplace safety is vital for any company, and most farms are under the same requirements to comply with occupational safety laws. Farm workers who are injured in an occupational accident may want to meet with an attorney in order to determine whether they are eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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