Agricultural Workplace Injury Assistance in San Jose and Central Valley Areas
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the agricultural industry is ranked as one of the most hazardous industries to work in. Farmers and field laborers have a high risk of injury by nature of the tough physical tasks and heavy machinery used on the job each day. NIOSH research indicates that about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury every day in the United States, and 50% of these injuries are related to a serious sprain or strain.
Agricultural workplace injuries may come from a range of different sources, from equipment malfunctions to harsh working conditions, with sprains and lacerations being the most common agricultural workplace injuries in Northern California.* No matter where your injury stems from, it can have lasting effects on your health if it’s not handled properly. The team at Scher, Bassett & Hames is qualified, experienced, and ready to help you deal with your agricultural workplace injury case. If you’re injured on the job, you certainly aren’t alone, and you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. Our team can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve to recover completely with proper medical care. Our attorneys are experienced in this realm, as agricultural workplace injuries are common in this area, where so much of the state is dedicated to growing produce of all varieties.
What to Do When You Are Injured at Work
If you happen to sustain an injury while on the job, the first step you should take is to alert a supervisor, manager, or another employee. You can then explain the situation that occurred and the nature of the accident you were involved in. It’s also a good idea to talk to a workplace injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected; in many cases, you may be owed compensation for the injury you suffered while in the workplace. Reporting the accident right away to your supervisor and an attorney ensures there is plenty of clear evidence the injury occurred while on the job and not in your off-duty hours.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in addition to injuries among agricultural workers, this industry also has the highest rates of fatal incidents in the county. In the case of an even more serious injury or fatality of a loved one, as a family member of the employee, we urge you to contact our office right away.
What Constitutes an Agricultural Workplace Injury?
Agricultural workplaces can be just as dangerous as any other, and a multitude of different injuries can occur. Considering the machinery agricultural workers use and the conditions they work under, it’s crucial to take the proper safety precautions. Here is a look at some of the most common injuries that occur in agricultural workplaces.
Sprains or physical injuries: California experiences a high rate of injury due to working with heavy or dangerous machinery and sharp equipment during the harvest season. A workplace injury does not have to be acute (laceration, broken bone, etc.), however, to qualify for compensation. Back, arm, and leg injuries from picking and cutting fruits or vegetables every day can still become serious problems inhibiting a worker’s ability to complete his or her responsibilities, so don’t let a chronic back problem go undiagnosed or unreported.
Unsafe equipment: Farms are full of dangerous equipment that can be hazardous even if properly maintained. Accidents from sharp blade equipment, propane gas explosions, slips and falls, electrical burns, and auto accidents in farm vehicles are all common accidents that could merit compensation. If equipment is unsafe, such as having loose or old parts, or has a lack of proper safety guards or protection, injuries from these cases of negligence can be very serious and demand workers’ compensation or wrongful death awards in court.
Heat illness: Some workplace injuries occur due to the conditions you work under; such is the case with heat illness. It’s important to realize that heat illness is a serious matter, and it can even have fatal consequences. The good news is that this type of injury is preventable by drinking water and resting in the shade.
Respiratory conditions: There are certain aspects of agricultural work that can impact the quality of the air you breathe on the job. Animal waste, pesticides, aerosols, and machines can all affect your worksite air quality. Be sure to talk to a workplace injury lawyer if you have developed a respiratory condition while at work.
Take the Next Steps in Your Journey to Recovery
When you’ve been injured in an agricultural job, it’s important to seek compensation from the person or company responsible for the dangerous situation. For example, if a truck driver injures you or a loved one while operating the vehicle, not only is the driver liable, but the company or farm that employs the driver is liable. Under U.S. law, employers are responsible for their employee’s actions in most cases (a legal principle called respondeat superior), and a professional legal team can help you recognize who should be held responsible for your workplace injury. To fully understand your rights and seek proper compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, disability pay, and other expenses, contact the attorneys at Scher, Bassett & Hames to handle your case.
Scher, Bassett & Hames are happy to help you with your agricultural workplace injury near San Jose. Visit our website or call us today at 408-739-5300 to find out how we can help you with your workplace injury in San Jose.