Agriculture plays a crucial role in Minnesota’s economy, with thousands of workers involved in various farming activities. From sowing and harvesting crops to managing livestock, agricultural workers face several risks in their daily tasks.
The combination of heavy machinery, unpredictable animals and the physical nature of the work can lead to accidents. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 450 fatal accidents related to agriculture in 2021. The following are some of the most common injuries agricultural workers in Minnesota experience.
Injuries from machinery
Heavy machinery, such as tractors and combines, is an integral part of modern farming. Accidents involving this equipment often lead to serious injuries such as fractures, lacerations or even amputations.
Working with animals also poses certain risks. Workers can get trampled or sustain injuries from kicks or bites. These injuries can range from minor scratches to severe internal injuries.
Falls are another common source of injury. Workers can fall from heights, such as when working in barn lofts, or slip and fall on level ground.
Farm workers are often exposed to a variety of chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers. Without proper protection, this exposure can lead to burns, respiratory issues and other health problems.
Heat stress and dehydration
Working long hours in the sun can lead to heat stress and dehydration, especially during the hot Minnesota summers. These conditions can cause dizziness, heat stroke and other health issues.
Repetitive motion injuries
Farming often involves repetitive tasks, such as lifting heavy objects or performing the same motion over and over again. Over time, these tasks can lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
Agriculture is a demanding industry, and its workers face a unique set of risks. Understanding these common injuries is the first step in promoting safer working conditions and practices.