Agricultural workers make up a significant portion of the workforce. In fact, the CDC estimates that there were more than 2 million of these workers in production agriculture in 2018 alone. Another 2 million or so were employed as crop workers. While this type of work can provide a fair wage to employees, it’s not without its risks.
The truth of the matter is that agricultural work can be quite dangerous. More than 400 people were killed in farm accidents in 2017 and, on a daily basis, approximately 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that requires them to miss work. Although some of these injuries are relatively minor sprains and strains due to over-exertion or over-extension, other injuries can be debilitating. Crush injuries caused by tipping tractors, malfunctioning or improperly maintained heavy machinery can cause serious lacerations and pinches, and even animal trampling can lead to puncture wounds.
Sure, these injuries are physically painful, but they can also have very real financial ramifications. Oftentimes, these workplace injuries force individuals to take time off in order to seek medical care and recoup. This means that they typically have to take on medical debt at a time when they may be losing wages. This can leave an agricultural worker in a precarious position where he or she struggles to find a way to make ends meet and secure the medical treatment he or she needs.
As scary as that may sound, there is good news. These injured workers may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which can help alleviate the incurrence of medical expenses and lost wages. In order to recover these benefits, though, certain requirements must be met. Far too often, workers’ compensation claimants see their claims denied for a variety of reasons. This is why it is critical that injured workers, whether in the agricultural industry or some other field, secure the assistance they need to put forth a strong workers compensation claim.