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Harvest time: a dangerous time for the farming industry

Farming is a dangerous occupation in Minnesota and around the country. According to a 2013 report by the Department of Labor, for every 100,000 people employed within the agricultural industry in the U.S., 500 of them die in connection with their occupation.

To promote the safety and health of those who work in the agricultural industry, the National Safety Council began the National Farm Safety and Health Week, which is held the third week each September. The annual event marks the harvest time when many people such as farmers and ranchers will be working extra hard at their job.

The traditional event also brings attention to the increased risks agricultural workers face during the harvest season and uses education, resources and solutions to decrease the daily dangers these people face. Some of those risks include burns from harmful chemicals, accidents with heavy machinery and slipping into grain elevators or silos.

While some occupations are significantly more dangerous than others are, all occupations have their particular risks. From slip-and-fall accidents at the office to losing a limb at the plant, employees are vulnerable to many various types of injuries. They can also suffer an illness directly related to the workplace such as lung cancer from breathing in second-hand smoke or asbestosis from being exposed to asbestos.

For these reasons, the majority of employers are required by law to purchase workers' compensation insurance. In order to obtain the benefits, injured or sick employees must file a workers' compensation claim immediately after they became injured or ill. The benefits usually include reasonable compensation for medical costs and missed income. The policy also provides benefits to the family members of workers killed in a job-related accident. Employees who need assistance in preparing and filing their claims might want to speak with an attorney who has experience in these matters.

Source: Midwest Producer, "It's National Farm Safety Week", Sept. 23, 2015

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