Accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, but some professions and workplaces are more dangerous than others. Many people in Iowa’s agricultural industry work around heavy equipment and potentially hazardous chemicals every day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the agricultural industry employed more than 2 million workers in 2017. Each year, hundreds of these workers are killed while performing their job duties. Accidents related to transportation, which includes overturned tractors, are the biggest cause of fatalities in this line of work. Those who lose a loved one in a farm accident can suffer tremendously, and they are often left with the financial realities that accompany unexpected medical and funeral expenses, as well as lost wages.
The CDC estimates that at least 100 farm workers are injured each day, resulting in missed work. Many of these injuries can be attributed to sprained and strained muscles, but others are more severe. Regardless of an injury’s severity, though, a worker who misses work and requires medical attention can face significant losses that might leave them and their family in a precarious financial situation.
Unfortunately, agricultural workers do not always have the same protections as other workers do when they are injured on the job. Under an Iowa law that was designed to protect small farms, employers do not have to provide workers’ compensation benefits for agricultural workers unless the employer’s payroll is more than a specified amount per year.
Injured agricultural workers should speak with an attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation law to find out if their employer is covered, and to learn about their options for recovering compensation.