Livestock can present a hazard to farm workers and others

Farm animals can be useful, beautiful and even fun, but they can also be predictable and cause serious injuries and fatalities.

When the topic of farming hazards comes up, people may think about the dangers of certain farm equipment, such as tractors and other types of heavy machinery, but they may not realize that many of the animals commonly found on a farm can be dangerous as well. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated, farming has long been one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. Unlike most other professions, family members can also be at risk in the agricultural business, since families tend to live on the farm site and share many of the dangerous chores. Anyone can be at risk when working with the variety of animals present on a farm, but younger and more inexperienced workers are particularly vulnerable.

Farm animals are typically large and, while domesticated, are not always docile or predictable. According to the University of Illinois Extension, since 1986 at least eight people have been killed in farm accidents while working with livestock, and many more may have been seriously injured. Some of the fatal accidents included a worker being charged by a bull, another worker being butted into a fence by a cow and a farmer who was trampled by agitated cattle while trying to free a trapped calf.

Livestock in roadway cause accidents

The danger of being hurt by farm animals isn't limited to the farm, or only to farm workers. Pantagraph.com reported on an incident in May 2014, when a truck carrying cattle overturned in Kappa, setting loose about 35 cows. The cows wandering the road caused several more accidents before authorities were able to close traffic and round up the animals.

Fortunately, no one was injured that time, but this is frequently not the case. Due to their large size, free roaming livestock can cause major damage to vehicles in a crash, and can result in injuries or fatalities.

Common farming risks involving livestock

Farm workers who become complacent or fail to realize the potential dangers may be unexpectedly hurt by animals, says Farmers Weekly. Cattle and other livestock may seem calm most of the time, but can react unpredictably and even violently in certain situations. Some common ways for farm animals to present a hazard include:

  • Stressed or frightened animals being loaded, confined or exposed to unfamiliar situations.
  • Working with or near baby animals (such as branding or tagging calves) when the mothers are nearby.
  • Visitors, children or those with less experience being around livestock with insufficient help or supervision.
  • Working with or near mature male livestock.

Additionally, it can cause a public safety hazard if gates or other containment methods are not properly secured and the animals get loose.

Contacting an attorney

Livestock perform a variety of useful services to farms and the public, but the animals can be unpredictable. If you've been injured by livestock, whether on the farm or while on the road, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss compensation.

Keywords: farm, animal, injury