Big Firm Services with

Small Firm Personal Attention

Maryland’s agriculture industry and how workers’ comp can help

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | workers' compensation |

Maryland may not sound like a center of agricultural business, but the state has about 12,500 farms. Agribusiness is booming in Maryland, but workers still face the same risks their counterparts in other states do.

Common agriculture injuries

The agriculture industry is vital to Maryland’s economy, but it comes with its share of risks. Workers in this sector face a variety of hazards that can lead to serious injuries. These are:

  • Overexertion and musculoskeletal injuries: Repetitive tasks, lifting heavy loads and awkward postures can overexert muscles. Common issues include back injuries, sprains, strains, and tears.
  • Machinery accidents: Workers can get entangled or struck by the machinery they use. Because many farm machinery is heavy, it’s also not unusual to hear about injury claims for workers pinned down by heavy machinery.
  • Falls: Workers can fall from heights, such as ladders or haylofts, or on the same level due to uneven terrain or slippery surfaces.
  • Animal-related injuries: Handling livestock can lead to kicks or bites. Livestock can also injure workers by pinning them against fixed structures.
  • Exposure to chemicals and pesticides: Many pesticides and chemicals can cause harmful health issues to those who handle them as part of their work. These issues include respiratory problems, skin conditions, and poisoning.
  • Heat-related illnesses: Working long hours in the heat without proper hydration or breaks can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Injuries from tools and equipment: Hand tools, power tools, and other equipment can cause cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds.
  • Vehicle accidents: Accidents involving farm vehicles, such as tractors or ATVs, can result in serious injuries.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss: Prolonged exposure to loud machinery without proper hearing protection can lead to hearing impairment.

Safety measures, protective equipment and proper training can mitigate some of these risks.

Workers’ compensation for agriculture injuries

When injuries occur, workers’ compensation is a critical resource. By state law, an employer – even those involved in agriculture – must offer workers’ compensation regardless of the cause of a worker’s injury.

Through their claims, Injured workers may receive compensation in the form of payments for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Workers’ comp may also cover for a worker’s lost wages, if their injuries prevent them from immediately returning to work.

Navigating a workers’ comp claim can be complex. If a claim is denied or an employer disputes an injury’s work-relatedness, an experienced attorney can be indispensable. A legal professional with experience in workers’ compensation cases can help workers fight for their right to fair treatment and full benefits.

FindLaw Network