Farm injury compensation claims
The following article considers what you need to know about making a farm accident compensation claim.
HSE statistics show that farming and agricultural workers are more likely to sustain a workplace injury than in most other occupations.
Over the 40 years since the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, fatal injury numbers in agriculture have not fallen to the same extent as in construction and manufacturing. Although 1% of the working population (employees and self-employed) work in the industry, agriculture accounts for 20% of all fatal injuries to workers.
Potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, and working at height or near pits and silos put employees at increased risk of serious accident or illness.
The work can be physically demanding and its repetitive nature may cause a range of health problems, including severe back pain.
Inhaling dust, handling loads, being exposed to noise or vibration, and working in all weathers may cause ill health. Symptoms may take years to develop and lead to permanent disability, and in some cases premature death.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Figures released by the HSE show the most common injuries (some of which may be fatal) occur from:
- Accidents involving farm vehicles - tractors, quad bikes, combine harvesters.
- Injuries caused by falling objects - bales, trees.
- Falls from height on a farm - from trees and ladders; through roofs
- Asphyxiation or drowning from accidents involving grain silos, slurry stores or pits.
- Accidents involving farm machinery - exposed transmission belts and blades
- Dangerous livestock - crushing, kicking, biting, and trampling
- Being trapped by something collapsing or overturning;
- Having contact with electricity, particularly overhead power lines.
Surveys suggest that of those injuries to workers in agriculture which should be reported by law, only 16% are actually reported (compared with just under 50% across other industries). It means there may be as many as 10,000 unreported injuries in the industry each year.
Additionally many of those in the industry do not consult their doctor unless seriously ill and so levels of ill health are unclear. However it is known that in agriculture:
- About 12,000 people suffer from an illness caused or made worse by their current or most recent job.
- Musculoskeletal injury (back pain, sprains or strains) is over three times the rate for all industries.
- The number of people affected by asthma is twice the national average.
- Around 20,000 people are affected by zoonoses (diseases passed from animals to humans) annually.
Employers have a duty to make the workplace safe. This includes identifying risks and providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
Some hazards will always remain and therefore workers should be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the user against health or safety risks at work.
It includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
Equipment must be appropriate for the work involved and well maintained. Employees should be trained in their correct use.
If an employer has been negligent in his duty to protect employees from injury, by not providing the right equipment or health and safety training, a claimant may be entitled to compensation for his injuries.
Agricultural injury claims may be technical and involve many experts to determine the longer term effects of the injury and a claimant's ability to work in the future.
Where a loved one has been involved in a fatal accident whilst working in an agricultural environment it is important to receive independent expert legal advice to ensure the correct level of compensation is awarded.
A No Win, No Fee agreement, referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement, is an important component of a claim.
The Conditional Fee Agreement lays out a contract between the lawyer and you. It sets out the service executed by the solicitor and, most significantly, a "success fee". This is the fee that will be deducted from the total compensation after the solicitor wins the case.
You will be able to focus on your recovery, with the knowledge that you will never be out of pocket. You have absolutely no hidden charges when choosing a Quittance personal injury solicitor.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our farming accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Meet the team
The nationwide panel of QLS solicitors take on all types of work accident claims, from fast track cases to catastrophic injury. Selected because of their track record in winning cases, QLS's solicitors have years of experience recovering compensation for their clients.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
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