Agricultural Worker Injuries In Tampa
Agricultural workers do a wide range of work around the Tampa area and throughout the state of Florida. According to the Farm Bureau, Florida has one of the highest rates of agricultural workers in the country. While these jobs are common in Florida, they also come with many different types of injury risks. Florida workers’ compensation law requires employers in the agricultural industry with six regular employees and/or twelve seasonal workers that work more than 30 days of the season to have workers’ compensation coverage. Accordingly, most agricultural employers are required to have coverage, and agricultural workers who get hurt on the job can be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
What types of injuries are most common in the agricultural industry? To understand how agricultural workers are at risk of certain injuries, our Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys want to provide you with more information about the common duties of agricultural workers. Then, we want to provide you with more information about seeking compensation when an injury does happen on the job.
Frequent Duties of Agricultural Workers
To understand how agricultural worker injuries occur, it is important to learn more about common duties of agricultural workers in Florida. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following are tasks frequently done by agricultural workers:
- Planting crops;
- Inspecting crops;
- Harvesting crops;
- Irrigating farmland;
- Maintaining irrigation systems on farmland, including ditches and pumps and pipes;
- Operating farm machinery, including heavy machinery;
- Using fertilizer and pesticides on crops;
- Feeding and caring for livestock;
- Monitoring livestock for signs of injury or illness;
- Branding or tagging livestock; and
- Herding livestock.
Within the broad category of agricultural workers, there are more specialized types of workers like agricultural equipment operators, nursery and greenhouse farmers, laborers, animal farmworkers, and animal breeders. Agricultural workers who routinely are required to use or operate heavy machinery can be at serious risk of struck-by injuries and caught-in or caught-between injuries. Laborers who apply pesticides and fertilizers can be exposed to hazardous substances that can cause cancers and other occupational diseases. Agricultural workers who perform animal-related or livestock-related tasks can be at risk of serious injuries from large animals and disease.
How to Seek Compensation for an Agricultural Work Injury
If you were injured on the job by working in the agricultural industry, the first thing you will need to determine is whether your employer is required to have workers’ compensation coverage. As we noted above, there are special requirements for workers’ compensation coverage for employers in the agricultural industry. If your employer is in fact required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, you could be eligible for compensation.
Under Florida workers’ compensation law, you will need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days from the date of the accident or your occupational disease diagnosis. Then you will need to see a health care provider who has been approved by your employer or the insurer. Keep in mind that a serious accident requiring emergency treatment does not require you to see an approved provider at first. Rather, you can go to the nearest emergency room and then follow up with an approved provider.
Contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Do you have questions about seeking financial compensation for an agricultural work-related injury? One of the experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at the Franco Law Firm can help you with your claim.