Farmedics and Farm AccidentsJanuary 09, 2023
Personal injuries and accidents are not only car or sports-related.
Farm accidents can and do also occur, even if they are not widely discussed, and they are still quite prevalent. According to Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR), there were 355 farm fatalities in Alberta between 1990 and 2009.
It’s for this reason that the non-profit organization “Ag for Life” has created a Farmedics program for first responders. Similar to a paramedic program, the course trained more than twenty first responders from the Foothills Fire Department in Alberta, aimed at helping them deal with the challenges when responding to farm emergencies. The course aimed to acquaint first responders with the structures, chemicals and equipment commonly found on farms, as well as to help them react more efficiently in situations when every second counts. The program ran for two days and taught volunteer firefighters how to deal with entrapments and entanglements through classroom work, farm tours and demonstrations.
Fire instructor Lynn Roberts, who helped out in the program, said, “We train a lot on motor-vehicle accidents and how to put out fires, but we don’t train [a] bunch on-farm accidents. Farm equipment is bigger, tougher.”
She is right. A farm is filled with heavy machinery that can cause an injury. Common causes of farm injuries can range from a simple slip and fall, to being crushed by equipment, or being hurt by improperly functioning equipment due to inadequate equipment maintenance or manufacturer defect. Other causes include exposure to pesticides or even being rolled over by a tractor.
Thus, the injuries incurred can be much more severe. Some types of common farm injuries include bone fractures, concussions, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs and loss of life (such as death from drowning).
It is important for farm workers to make sure that farm equipment has been properly inspected and is operational. It is also important that workers know how to properly and safely operate machinery, take rests when needed, and seek medical attention if they ever injure themselves. The medical information can be used by lawyers to establish liability if a lawsuit is ever brought.
Employers, including farms, are bound to keep workplaces safe. Thus, if an employee is injured while working on a farm, it may engage the vicarious or strict liability of the farmer.
Because farm accidents can often invoke complicated legal concepts such as product liability, liability of a thing (like an animal), and employer liability, it is best to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer so that you know what compensation is available to you.
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