It was a devastating scene at a rural Illinois farm recently when a 73-year-old man was reported missing. He had been working on the farm, and his vehicle was located near a grain bin. Search and rescue teams responded and launched efforts to empty the grain bin. They ultimately found the man hours later, but he had died.
While most in Springfield would probably agree that farming can be a dangerous profession, they'd probably also assume that such dangers are presented by complex farming equipment or in encounters with large farm animals such as cows, horses, or bulls. Yet one of the sad realities of farming is that even accidents or freak occurrences that may seem quite simple in nature can end up producing deadly results.
Many in Sangamon County don't realize this, but one of the most dangerous professions in Illinois and around the country is farming. While advances in agricultural science and new technologies have definitely made a farmer's job easier, they've also made it deadlier. When operating heavy equipment or machinery, a momentary lapse in one's awareness of his or her surroundings can have disastrous results. Yet not just farmers are at risk. Farm employees or family and friends that come to help out are just as likely to be injured or killed in farm accidents, often even more so due to the fact that they aren't completely familiar with everything going on around them.
Farming and agricultural work is among the most dangerous professions in the U.S. Farm workers are often tasked with operating heavy machinery, dealing with large animals, and working in general conditions that can be conducive to accidents. Yet even with the extra emphasis being placed in recent years on farm safety protocols in Illinois, the potential for serious accidents with tragic outcomes remains high. Often it's due to these accidents occurring in rural areas where emergency responders are not able to arrive in sufficient time to administer care. Beyond that, farm accidents are often simply attributed to the unique nature of the work being done.
The agricultural, forestry and fishing industry is the most dangerous industry for workers in the U.S. Workers in this industry have a fatality rate eight times higher than any other industry combined. Farming is part of this industry and it continues to be plagued with safety hazards.
Farming poses many risks for workers. One of the most dangerous risks for farm workers is being involved in a tractor accident. Tractor rollovers cause the most fatal farm accidents in the country, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. They report that roughly 250 fatal accidents are caused by tractor rollovers every year.
The farming industry is not only dangerous for farm workers. A new study found that farm hazards are a significant safety risk for children in Illinois and throughout the country, with roughly 27,000 children being injured on farms every year.
Grain bin accidents are a serious risk for farm workers in Illinois and throughout the country. One of the biggest risks of working with grain bins is how to safely enter the grain bin. While safety harnesses are helpful, they need to be connected to a secure safety line in the grain bin to help prevent accidents and fatalities.
Agriculture occupations continue to have one of the highest fatality rates in the nation. In fact, farming jobs have a workplace fatality rate eight times higher than all other work industries combined.
Farm accidents are still prevalent on American farms despite safety initiatives and precautions to prevent accidents. Tractor accidents are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities for farm workers, according to the National Safety Council.