National Farm Safety and Health Week begins next month, September 17 – 23. During the week topics will include rural roadway safety, the danger of confined spaces, and the prevention of farm injuries and illness.
Iowa Farm Accidents Involving Tractors, Combines, Farm Machinery or Equipment
Rural roadway safety is one of the most common farmer safety concerns. There are many incidences of near misses between tractors, combines, utility and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and other motor vehicles. Many motorists do not adjust their driving behavior to navigate around farm machinery or implements traveling on the road, which can lead to accidents. Cars often approach from the rear too fast, pass on blind hills or cross solid painted center lines, not taking into account that the standard rules of the road apply when sharing the road with farming conveyances. Motorists seldom anticipate when a tractor or a combine might turn into a field or driveway, or even more risky, to the left. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, there were 1,947 crashes between farm equipment and vehicles between 2004 and 2013 – 1,076 injuries and 72 deaths.
Iowa Confined Space Injuries and Fatalities
The agriculture industry can be risky business. In fact, farm deaths accounted for more than 30 percent of all occupational fatalities in Iowa between 2001 and 2011 and many tragedies are a result of confined space injuries. Agricultural confined spaces can include manure pits, milk tanks, silage bunkers and grain bins. A confined space is not designed for regular occupancy by people – the entryways and/or exits are limited and hazardous materials or atmosphere may create dangers. During harvest time, farm safety concerns focus on confined spaces such as grain bins, transport vehicles and other grain storage structures.
Iowa Tractor Accidents
Agriculture remains one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S., with tractor overturns producing the greatest number of agricultural machinery-related fatalities. Strides have been taken to improve the safety of such vehicles such as rollover protective structures (ROPS) and seat belts, but a large proportion of tractors in use in American agriculture are older tractors without these features. Until a dramatic reduction in the number of tractors in the U.S. operated without ROPS and seat belts is realized, the annual incidence of 120 to 130 deaths associated with tractor overturns will likely persist.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Iowa Farm Accident Attorney
Iowa farmers suffer more fatal occupational injuries than many other kind of workers in the state. Farming is multi-faceted tasking along with interaction with specialized equipment or machinery represents unique risks to workers. Keeping farmers safe in the fields, roadways and harvesting facilities is a priority across the state. If you or a family member has been injured in a farm related accident, or have been in a motor vehicle accident involving a farm implement, contact the personal injury Davenport Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for assistance today.