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Workplace safety in agricultural industry still a great concern

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration are working with leaders in the agricultural sector in hopes of reducing the number of accidents occurring on farms.  There were 475 deaths reported of agricultural workers in 2012.  There have been as many as 48,000 injuries during single years as well.

OSHA is working with various organizations in hopes of promoting workplace safety in the agricultural field.  Emphasis has been specifically made on the dangers of farm equipment, working in closed or confined spaces, and in the handling of grain.

Agricultural workers face a number of dangers that other industrial workers also face.  These workers are at risk for hearing loss, skin disease, cancers due to working with various chemicals, heat exposure and lung diseases.

The agriculture economy is present everywhere throughout the country including Maryland.  While other industries might be seeing reduced rates in the number of fatal workplace accidents, OSHA reported that there were a record number of deaths for agricultural workers in 2010.

Various coalitions are therefore trying to improve safety by providing training manuals and other information.  As close to half of agricultural workers are of Hispanic descent, these training materials are being provided in a variety of languages.

Anytime a workplace injury takes place the injured worker may wish to speak to an attorney concerning what to do next.  Recovery for workplace injuries sometimes involves following certain procedures as dictated by the laws.  It's best for a worker not to sign their legal rights away prior to understanding all of their options.  In other circumstances, determining the party at fault can also prove to be a challenge.

It's best that workers do not try to go this process on their own.

Source: Fire Engineering, "US Labor Department's OSHA Working with Agriculture Community to Promote Safety Education," Sep. 17, 2013

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