In Illinois, harvest time in the fall is a very important time for farmers – and since farming is such an integral part of this state’s culture, it is an industry that affects all Illinoisans.
Our Illinois personal injury lawyers understand the importance of farm- and farm equipment-safety. There are a number of ways to stay protected from potential dangers that are natural consequences of large-scale farming equipment.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding dangers this harvest season:
Be alert to the presence of slow moving farm machinery on roads. According to Bloomington’s Pantagraph newspaper, a car going 55 mph approaching a tractor in the same lane, going the same direction, at 15 mph will close a gap equivalent to a football field in just 5 seconds. If you’re not aware of these vehicles, it may be difficult to stop in time.
Also, remember that during harvest time, farmers may be working longer hours than usual, and may not be as alert as they ought to be. Be cautious when approaching, following, or passing farm vehicles on the road.
People working on farms need to be especially careful when approaching grain bins. According to the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health, every year an average of 88,000 agricultural workers are injured and 551 are killed. Of those injuries and deaths, Illinois had the highest rate of accidents associated with grain bins.
When working in a grain bin, always have others nearby. In case of an accident, it takes at least two people to lift a person out of a bin. It is also smart to use a rope and safety harness when entering a bin to prevent falls. Children especially should be kept away from grain bins, and only experienced agricultural workers should enter the bins.
Clean silos often, and with acoustic cleaners. When silos are allowed to collect dust or fine particles in the air, a spark can trigger an explosion inside the silo. The blast will be powerful and potentially deadly, and will likely set both the grain and the building on fire. There are a number of methods of cleaning the inside of silos, but acoustic cleaning is by far the safest. During an acoustic cleaning, a series of quick and powerful sounds will cause the particles inside the silo to move at differing speeds based on their size and density. As a result, the particles detach from one another, and fall down as a result of gravity. This system replaced other approaches, some of which sent workers down into the silo to manually clean the inside.
Our Illinois injury lawyers know that the bestoccur result is to avoid a hazard altogether, before it causes injury. However, tragically accidents do. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand the laws involved and have the diligence to fight for your rights.
In many cases, farm safety falls under Premises Liability law, in which the owner of a property is liable for injuries that occur on that property as a result of the owner’s negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered a farm-related, or Premises Liability-related injury, an attorney may be able to advise you of your rights under the law.