New Jersey workers dealing with tractors and other heavy equipment on the job may face particular risks of injuries. Every year, around 130 farmworkers are killed across the country in accidents involving tractor rollovers. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a guide to educate workers and employers about steps they can take to improve tractor safety on the job. The guide recommends the use of protective structures that can prevent rollovers, including roll bars or cage frames. OSHA says that these items can improve tractor safety overall, especially for people who are operating the equipment.
In addition, OSHA said that employers should provide training in tractor safety before a job begins and on an annual basis. If a tractor does roll over, it is important to replace protective equipment, as it can be damaged and lose its protective capacities in case of a rollover incident. It is also critical to make sure that these structures meet OSHA standards for tractor protection, as inadequate protection may lead to a false and dangerous sense of security.
In order to minimize risks, OSHA advises making sure that workers fasten seat belts securely. It also said that tractors should be driven at lower speeds on slopes, near ditches and close to bodies of water. In many cases, tractor accidents may be linked to overdue maintenance or the poor condition of farm equipment. Some employers may install self-made protective structures that do not meet federal standards, and fluid spillage can also lead to dangerous workplace accidents.
Workers who are injured in a tractor accident may require extensive medical care and treatment. They might want to have the help of an attorney when filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which in some cases can include a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period.