Farmers in South Dakota are rushing to get their work done in the fall to make sure their crops are good for the holidays and to prepare their land for the winter. This also means that it is one of the more dangerous seasons of the year for them as their quicker work approach can lead to some serious accidents.
Farming is one of the deadliest occupations in the nation with the amount of safety hazards in and outside of the fields. Combine this with some locations not providing sufficient training or supervision, and a lot of workers can be at serious risk. If you or a loved one are working this physically demanding career field, you should be especially careful around these areas of your workplace.
Tractor accidents are one of the most frequent injuries found on farms. Many operators make the mistake of trying to start the tractor on the ground or leaving the vehicle while it is still running. Farmers should only turn on the tractor and keep it running when they are in the operating seat to avoid potentially getting their body parts or clothes stuck in the vehicle. Older tractors are also prone to rollovers on hills or narrow pathways. Operators need to wear their seat belts and install safeguards such as crush-proof cabs and roll bars to decrease the chance of a potential catastrophe.
In 2017, there were 31 reported fatalities in confined spaces on farms. The most common place where this occurs is inside grain bridges, as some workers make the mistake of standing on them. If they receive no adequate training, they can fall inside and suffocate from the thousands of seeds within. South Dakota farmers must create a safety plan and install a safety rope with exit ladders for workers to access when inside the bin.
Farms come equipped with dozens of machines to help them manage the fields and livestock around them. With the frequent usage of these devices, several workers have reported incidents where someone suffered either from a lack of training, safety equipment or not checking to see the machine is operating correctly before turning it on. Balers are common machines that farmers fail to take precautions for. Last month, a man in Eden died when a part of his machine fell on him.
South Dakota farm workers should be given proper training and safety equipment before operating such deadly machines in an already dangerous place. Injured parties should receive sufficient work compensation to help cover for devastating damages. If not enough is provided, you can contact an attorney to help with your financial recovery.