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Concern over the numbers of farm-related workplace injuries

Farms and ranches are great places to live or work, but the risks farmworkers face must not be ignored. Some of the safety hazards they encounter are not present in any other workplace. Authorities say farm-related workplace injuries caused the deaths of more than 400 people in 2015 nationwide, including in Oklahoma.

Reportedly, incidents involving transportation such as tractors that overturn were what caused most of the fatalities. The most concerning aspect of the statistics is that an average of 113 youths under the age of 20 die every year in accidents on farms nationwide. These numbers are made up mostly of young workers between 16 and 19 years old.

The three top causes of farm-related deaths of youths are machinery-related -- including tractors, vehicle accidents and drownings. Authorities say that farmers and ranchers should see this as a challenge to create safety awareness by training their employees and practicing safe work ethics every day. They also say that the primary reasons for the high fatality rate are the urgency of most tasks, not enough time to complete them and haste.

Any person who suffers workplace injuries while working on a farm in Oklahoma might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will be able to determine whether the injured worker is eligible for benefits. There are specific requirements to be met by farmers before they must provide insurance coverage for workers. These include the number of employees and the total annual wages paid along with the type of equipment to which employees are exposed. If the injured worker qualifies, the insurance coverage will pay for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: hayspost.com, "It's about safety", John Schlageck, Nov. 7, 2017

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