The Effects Of Injuries Or Accidents On The Family Farm


   The world runs on the strength of its farms – but unfortunately, the accident and injury rates for agricultural occupations are notoriously high. Even when highly skilled individuals work with heavy machinery, unpredictable livestock, and other hazards, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. An injury response plan should be a part of every family farm's strategy, so here's a few important points to consider:
   Injury Is Twinned With Liability
   Perhaps you aren't worried about being sued by a family member, but you can't predict who becomes the victim of an accident. Injuries can target a hired hand, a visitor, a customer, or even a trespasser who comes into harm's way – and even a single lawsuit is often enough to sink a family farm operation. Don't assume that uninvited guests are proceeding at their own risk. If potentially dangerous areas on the farm are likely to attract children, the landowner is often legally responsible to take basic precautions. If you provide an inherently hazardous service (such as riding lessons), you should thoroughly research your rights and responsibilities under local law.

   Physical Injury Affects Financial Viability
   Medical bills aren't the only financial burden you'll face after an accident. Even the temporary loss of a worker is devastating during "busy season," and you may find yourself scrambling to address significant losses of crops, customers, and ultimately, cash. Your injury response plan needs to outline local resources of workers and equipment that you can borrow or rent to fill the gaps caused by an accident.
   Injuries and accidents can happen to anyone at any time, and developing a sound injury response plan is crucial in keeping your family farm running smoothly and sustainably. The research and contingency planning to develop your strategy may look intimidating, but in the long-term you will find that a solid plan is invaluable. Not sure where to begin? Contact us – we are here to help you plan your way to security and success. ∆
   WES HENTGES: AgriLegacy “Keeping the Farm in the Family”
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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