Agricultural Injury: Improving Occupational Safety
Wondering what an agricultural injury is? Agricultural safety is important and today, more people are becoming aware of it. What’s more is that the occupational safety investment here can be done easily should proper precautions be followed.
How can agricultural injuries happen?
Injuries in the work place aren’t just limited to white collar jobs. They can happen to anyone including workers and those involved in other occupations, including agriculture.
Injury related to agricultural activities is a facet that is often ignored. Agriculture in itself requires a lot of effort and investment on the part of the farmers themselves. Living and working on the premises of the farm is hazardous and can lead to long-term illness, accidental injury and or permanent damage to the soil and crop.
Who Studies Agricultural Injuries?
A need for an agricultural based safety program which also caters to the health risks of the farmers was needed. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in 1990 came out with such a programme that helped farmers know and protect themselves against the most obvious occupational hazards of agricultural activities.
Under the aegis of the NIOSH, extensive research has been done on the various aspects of incidents of harmful exposure in the form of exposure to pesticide, loss of hearing, injuries to the nervous system, bone/muscle related disorders and the like. Under these investigations and studies scattered over 10 states, the following will extensively talk about agricultural injuries and how to avoid them.
Identifying Those at Risk of Agricultural Injury
In 2015 alone, the United States recorded about 2,088,000 people associated on a full time basis with activities of agricultural production. From this alone, it is very easy to understand that agricultural injury is a risk to so many individuals, many of which reside on the farm premises and maybe less than 20 years of age. Moreover, agricultural activities require continuous work, so it’s logical to assume that multiple incidents of agricultural injury are a continuous risk on those who are not careful enough or do not know full well the risks of engaging in these activities.
Incidents of Fatal Injuries
Work related injuries are the most common and predominant subset of agricultural injuries. And even dominating in this subset is the occurrence of death related to activities of transportations. Such incidents refer to accidents like overturned tractors, which are a risk to farmers themselves, as well as to any other ancillary workers associated with farm work. An effective method to curb these overturn injuries has been developed in the form of Roll-Over Protective Structures. Other forms of agricultural injuries come from mishandling of equipment, failure to maintain machinery, accidents of motor vehicles, drowning etc.
Other Debilitating Injuries
Nonfatal injuries can be incapacitating in nature and as such can put a farm out of business in the absence of able persons running it. Recorded estimates show that on an average, at least 100 farm workers suffer from agricultural injuries. Out of these how many are fit to work again is tough to say. Other than these, muscular strains and joint sprains are a constant agricultural injury for farm workers. These musculo-skeletal injuries can be debilitating in the long run, if not tended to on a regular basis. This is because the frequency of such injuries spread over a period of time can cause permanent damage to weight bearing bones of the body making simple chores very painful to do.
Agricultural injuries are an occupational hazard and require to be taken seriously. Both their prevention and prompt treatment is necessary.