Why the US Agriculture Sector Should Invest More in Safety Tools

red tractor

The recent Memorial Week in April renewed the importance of investing more in workplace safety, as the number of deaths and the fatality rate rose in 2016, according to a report.

For the agriculture industry, it can be as simple as having tractor light kits for heavy-duty vehicles. Whether or not your company has a strong safety record, investments in resources and tools should be a staple for your business.

Blemished Records

AFL-CIO released the Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect report, which showed that workplace fatalities increased to almost 5,200 in 2016 from more than 4,800 in 2015. The fatality rate in the country also rose to 3.6 per 100,000 people from 3.4.

These figures led AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to say that there is a nationwide crisis on the state of workplace health and safety. By region, Wyoming ranked as the most dangerous place for workers with 12.3 fatalities per 100,000 people. Alaska had a 10.6 rate, while the rate in Montana reached 7.9.

South Dakota and North Dakota completed the top five with 7.5 and 7.0 rates, respectively.

Dangerous Jobs

Farmers and other agricultural workers ranked among the top 10 most dangerous jobs based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers reached 23.1.

It may be smaller than the 135.9 rate among logging workers, but the farming industry had the second highest fatality rate with 260 deaths. The report cited vehicular accidents as the main cause of most job fatalities. These incidents accounted for 40% of all fatalities in 2016.

Conclusion

Workplace safety is important not only to protect your employees but also to prevent costly lawsuits and non-compliance with federal laws. Employers in the agriculture industry and other sectors should pay more attention to how they can improve their company policies.