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Vehicular risks to agricultural workers

September often marks a portion of the heart of the harvest season on farms all around Minnesota. The weather is typically still good and allows workers ample access and long enough days to gather crops from the fields. However, the work associated with the harvest can provide many risks to farmers and employees. A great many of these are related to tractors and other vehicles used to collect crops.

As explained by the United States Department of Labor, accidents involving some type of vehicle comprise a large percentage of the overall accidents on farms. Tractors can be known to roll over on their own but when other pieces of equipment like harvesters are connected to tractors, the risk can grow. This is because there is a greater chance of imbalance between the various pieces that makes turning over more possible, especially if used on slopes or uneven ground. 

Many items are connected to tractors via a special shaft that draws power from the tractor and supplies it to the attached equipment. Employers should ensure that workers know to turn this shaft on only when actively in use. It should also have a shield to help prevent loose clothing, which is ideally not to be worn around this equipment, or human limbs from getting caught in it.

If you would like to learn more about the types of dangers that people who work on agricultural farms face and how employers should help them stay safe, please feel free to visit the farm workers safety page of our Minnesota workers' compensation website.

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