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Dangers Faced by Livestock Industry Workers

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 30-Oct-2014

Working with livestock may sound like a low-risk industry, but there are many ways that a worker can be injured while dealing with animals. Raising, transporting, and preparing livestock includes many steps involving thousands of workers performing different tasks, many of which involve heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals that can lead to serious injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 12,000 non-fatal injuries occurred in the Animal Production Industry in 2012.

Grain bins and silos contribute a surprising amount of fatalities, with workers suffering from engulfment (being buried in the grain) or suffocation from grain dust. In 2010, 26 workers were killed through engulfment in grain silos, according to OSHA.

Toxic Exposure

Workers face the possibility of respiratory distress when faced with long-term exposure to air contaminants. Manure pits release a toxic mix of chemicals that can cause long-term damage and can carry harmful bioaerosols such as microorganisms and toxicants. Machinery can release a wide range of fumes and dust that can also be harmful to workers. Safety equipment can be used to reduce the harmful effects of these chemicals, include respirators or masks.

Some illnesses can be transferred between animals and humans, and dealing with large amount of concentrated animals regularly increases the risk of exposure. In addition, unsanitary conditions increase the risk of any illnesses. Workers must take diligent care to wash their hands often to prevent exposure to illness, and employers are responsible for providing the means for them to do so.

Hearing Loss

The many types of machinery used in connection to livestock often create a loud work environment, and workers can face hearing loss if safety precautions are not taken. Steps can be taken to protect workers, including maintaining machinery to create as little noise as possible, and providing at-risk workers with headphones.

While providing a necessary role to our society, many agricultural workers face risks that are often overlooked. However, many of these hazards can be reduced or removed through the use of safety procedures and equipment. It is the responsibility of every employer to provide these items and protect workers from both short and long-term dangers in the workplace.

Client's portion of total recovery may be subject to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement claims, Medicare/Medicaid liens or other third-party claims or liens. These verdicts and settlements are intended to be representative of cases handled by Arnold & Itkin, LLP. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.

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