As one of New Jersey’s largest industries, agriculture employs thousands of people on farms statewide. According to the CDC, agriculture is one of the most dangerous lines of work. In 2020, United States agricultural workers reported nearly 12,000 work-related injuries requiring time away from work.
While countless unique agricultural injuries occur each year, here are five of the most common.
1. Equipment accidents
Heavy machinery makes farming more manageable. At the same time, it introduces additional danger to farming jobs. Amputations, cuts, broken bones and more often result from interactions with agricultural machinery.
2. Engulfment and suffocation
Farm employees can easily become engulfed by grain when working in silos. When the grain beneath workers gives way, acting as quicksand or a sinkhole, it can trap and suffocate them.
Many types of agricultural work require the use of ladders and lifts. Lack of safety measures often leads to dangerous and even deadly falls.
4. Chemical exposure
Herbicides and pesticides are commonplace in many farming operations. Even brief exposure to these chemicals can cause health issues, and long-term exposure may lead to serious conditions.
5. Animal threats
From larger animals, such as horses and cows, to smaller animals, such as chickens and dogs, most animals on a farm can cause injury. Bites, pecks, kicks and trampling are frequent sources of injury in agricultural settings.
Agriculture is one of the most vital industries in New Jersey. However, farm workers face many on-the-job risks to keep food on tables across the nation.