Agriculture is the backbone of the economy for most countries. Many people only associate farming and agriculture as just a part of the food supply chain. In addition to food, the industry produces raw materials that contribute to the production of many products in our daily lives. 

Farming and agriculture also sustain the livelihood of a large percentage of the world’s population. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),  22 million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors in 2018—a number that represents 11 percent of total U.S. employment.[1]

Yet safety is a significant issue. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that farming and agriculture rank among the highest of U.S. industries for work-related fatal and non-fatal injuries.  There are more agriculture-related deaths yearly than in any other industry. In fact, in the U.S., there is twice the number of deaths in agriculture than in mining.

Every employer should make safety and health a priority for their business.  A safe working environment plays an important role in creating a successful business. Moreover, employers that create a safety culture in the workplace show employees that they are both valued and are crucial to the success of the industry. 

Agriculture Industry Risks

The lack of information regarding agricultural injuries is a recognized obstacle in the development of effective injury prevention measures. The hazards exist in almost every aspect of farming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an estimated 160 agricultural workers are injured from farm-related accidents daily. Tragically, nearly 400 farmers, agricultural workers, and farmhands die every year as a result of severe farming accidents. 

Some of the most common hazards in agriculture are:

  • Crushing injuries—This is the most common cause of agricultural fatalities. This often occurs when a tractor becomes unbalanced and tips.
  • Farm equipment accidents—Farmworkers can be seriously maimed, disfigured, or killed when they become entangled in farming machinery such as augers, threshers, and other equipment with power take-off (PTO) drives.
  • Suffocation—This can occur when a worker becomes trapped in grain bins, silos, and other enclosed spaces.  
  • Head, neck, and spinal injuries—A good portion of a farm worker’s day is spent above the ground due to working on tall machinery and equipment. Falls on backs, necks, or heads from a distance of a little as five feet can cause serious damage.
  • Livestock Injuries—A number of serious injuries and deaths occur every year as a result of animal-related accidents.
  • Chemical handling— Improperly storing pesticides and other chemicals can lead to waste and damage to the surrounding environment. Pesticide exposure can also lead to skin disorders and respiratory problems.

Protect Your Workers with the Right Equipment

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Preventing Injuries

Although it’s impossible to prevent all foreseeable hazards in agricultural business, there is plenty that can be done to mitigate many of them. It is beneficial for an agricultural business employer to provide a safe and healthy working environment that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or fatalities. This will not just keep employees safe, it will save the business money on insurance costs and loss of labor.

The first step to preventing injuries or fatalities is to implement an Accident Prevention Program (APP), or safety plan.[2] This plan will lay the groundwork for what is needed and expected for supervisors and employees.

The plan should include:

  • How, when, and where to report injuries and illnesses.
  • The location of first-aid facilities.
  • How to report unsafe conditions and practices.
  • The use and care of personal protective equipment.
  • What to do in emergencies.
  • How to identify hazardous chemicals or materials and how to use them safely. 
  • A review of the practices necessary to safely perform job assignments. 

A safety plan is only half of the equation. Having the proper tools and equipment to create a safe work environment will also help prevent industries. 

Agriculture Subsectors


Top Products For The Agriculture Industry

 

DOT Can Red

In the agriculture industry, farm safety expands beyond the fields and onto the public roads that surround them. Agricultural sites use numerous tools that run on gasoline. Vehicles transporting gas containers on public roads to different areas of the farm must comply with Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) requirements. D.O.T. approved safety cans feature a mechanism to assure the filler opening stays closed while in transport.

Bench Cans

In the agriculture industry, people typically use on-site workshops for equipment maintenance and repairs. Bench cans come in handy for safely cleaning gears and parts. They feature a sealing lid designed to keep oxygen out, mitigating flame propagation.

Outdoor Storage Lockers

Common hazards in agriculture revolve around pesticides and storage. The amount of pesticides used at most agriculture sites and farms is more than can be safely stored in a cabinet. Outdoor storage lockers provide a safe solution for pesticide storage. They also require special segregation to prevent environmental disaster. Drums of flammable liquids cannot be stored out in the sun under direct sunlight or exposed to the elements as it these factors may alter the stored chemical’s properties. Outdoor storage lockers can provide cover from the elements, temperature control, and safe storage for large quantities.

Spill Containment

Liquid fertilizer typically is stored in 55-gallon drums. Liquids in concentrate form need to be stored on a spill pallets featuring built-in sumps to prevent hazardous substances from leaking into the ground.

Drum Funnels

Farm equipment accidents often occur due to lack of knowledge of preventive safety products. Many farms accumulate hazardous and potentially flammable waste, which is stored until it is collected for disposal. Special funnels are required to safely transfer waste into 55-gallon drums for collection. Upon inserting the funnel into the opening, a long brass flame arrester absorbs and dissipates heat, preventing any external ignition source from reaching the flammable contents.

More Industry Safety Solutions


Agriculture Industry Statistics

There are 381,477 competitors in the transportation industry. With Justrite’s farm safety equipment, you will become a leader in safety, workplace protections, and environmental care.[3]

Farm Related Accidents, Deaths and Injuries

The agriculture industry sees 5.3 injuries per 100 employees each year. Almost 2 percent of your employees will take time off work as a result, and 1.6 percent will need to transfer to a new job or restrict their tasks.[4]

Every day there are about 100 agriculture workers that sustain injuries that result in lost time on the job. In a two-year period ending in 2010, it’s estimated that 50 percent of all crop worker injuries in the industry were classified as sprains or strains. Tragically, in 2017, there were 416 farmer and farmworker deaths relating to work in the agricultural business.[5]

Stay OSHA Compliant

In the agriculture industry, there are roughly 141 inspections each year. The industry spends $1,285,943 in penalties, amounting to $9,120 in penalties for each inspection. It is critical to remain OSHA compliant to prevent serious injuries and fatalities, keep penalties low, and your reputation intact.[3]

Contain and Manage Your Environmental Waste

The agriculture industry generates 450 tons of waste each year. Keep your waste safely, ethically, and compliantly contained and managed with Justrite equipment.[6]

Citations: 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/default.html
  2. https://www.oshatrain.org/courses/pdf/WA-APPGuide.pdf
  3. https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/industryprofile.html
  4. https://www.bls.gov/web/osh/summ1_00.htm
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/default.html
  6. https://rcrapublic.epa.gov/rcrainfoweb/action/modules/br/naics/view