Workers’ Compensation for California Agricultural & Farm Workers
Agricultural and farming is a vital sector in California commerce, employing thousands, contributing to the state’s economy, and providing essential resources for residents here and across the country. However, farm work is far from easy – and the nature of the agricultural industry poses several inherent risks and hazards for the workers involved.
Understanding the workers’ compensation system that protects agricultural and farm workers in California is crucial to ensure their well-being and provide necessary support in case of work-related accidents, injury or disease. In this article the experienced workers comp attorneys at Cantrell Green explain how the workers’ compensation system in California provides essential benefits to agricultural and farm workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.
Most Common Agricultural & Farm Workers Compensation Injuries
Agricultural work and farming play a vital role in society, providing essential food and resources. However, the nature of this occupation exposes workers to a wide range of hazards and risks. From machinery accidents to exposure to toxins and extreme weather conditions, the dangers faced by farm workers require attention and awareness.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, the agricultural sector had a fatality rate of 23.4 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in the United States. And the California Department of Public Health reports that heat illness-related deaths among farm workers in California were consistently higher than in any other industry from 2005 to 2014.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also found that farm workers have higher rates of respiratory diseases and musculoskeletal disorders compared to workers in other industries.
Machinery Accidents: Farm workers often operate heavy machinery and equipment, such as tractors, combines, and harvesters. Accidents can occur due to equipment malfunctions, inadequate training, or lack of proper safety measures. These accidents may result in amputations, fractures, crush injuries, or even fatalities.
Transportation Accidents: Farm workers frequently travel on rural roads, often using tractors or vehicles to transport goods or equipment. The risk of accidents increases due to factors like poor road conditions, inadequate visibility, and long working hours. Transportation accidents can lead to severe injuries and fatalities.
Falls from Heights: Farm workers may need to climb ladders, silos, or equipment to perform tasks such as maintenance, inspection, or harvesting. Falls from heights can result in broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious consequences.
Heat-Related Illness: Working in hot and humid environments exposes farm workers to the risk of heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, inadequate hydration, and lack of rest breaks can lead to these potentially life-threatening conditions.
Exposure to Toxins and Chemicals: Agricultural work involves the handling and application of various chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. Improper use, insufficient protective equipment, or inadequate training can result in exposure to toxic substances, leading to respiratory problems, skin conditions, neurological disorders, and other long-term health issues.
Musculoskeletal & Back Injury: Farm workers engage in physically demanding tasks, such as lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions, and prolonged bending or stooping. These activities can cause musculoskeletal injuries, including strains, sprains, back pain, and joint problems.
Respiratory Conditions: Exposure to organic dust, mold, and airborne allergens in barns or confined spaces can contribute to respiratory ailments such as asthma, allergies, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis among farm workers.
Injuries from Livestock: Farm workers involved in animal husbandry may encounter unpredictable behavior from livestock, leading to injuries caused by bites, kicks, or trampling.
Workers Comp Benefits for Manufacturing Workers & Factory Employees
California workers compensation law mandates that all agricultural facilities and farms provide workers comp benefits for agricultural and farm workers, to ensure that injured workers receive necessary medical care, compensation for lost wages, and other support during their recovery process.
Injured agricultural and farm workers are entitled to receive coverage for reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to their work-related injury or illness. This includes doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation services.
Additionally, agricultural and farm workers who are temporarily unable to work due to their work-related injury or illness are eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits provide a portion of the lost wages during the recovery period. And, if a work-related injury or illness results in a permanent disability, farm workers may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
In cases where an agricultural employee’s injury or illness prevents them from returning to their previous job, vocational rehabilitation programs can assist in developing new job skills or finding alternative employment opportunities.
Under California workers’ compensation law, the family of a deceased worker may be also entitled to death benefits. These benefits provide financial support to the dependents of the deceased agricultural or farm worker who relied on their income. The workers’ compensation system also typically covers reasonable burial expenses up to a certain limit.
Workers Comp Benefits for Undocumented Migrant Farm Workers
In California, both legal and undocumented migrant farm workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The state’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide coverage to workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of their immigration status. The California Labor Code explicitly states that all employees, including those who are undocumented, are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Undocumented workers are required to report their work-related injuries or illnesses to their employers and follow the same procedures as other employees when filing a workers’ compensation claim. They have the right to receive medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other applicable benefits, just as US Citizens do.
Agricultural & Farm Workers Comp Attorneys | California
Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be complex and confusing, so injured agricultural and farm workers should not hesitate to seek assistance from an experienced California workers comp attorney. Our skilled workers comp attorneys have obtained millions of dollars in workers comp benefit and have been protecting the rights of injured workers for more than forty years.
Our workers comp attorneys can provide guidance throughout the claim process, ensuring that the rights and well-being of manufacturing workers and factory employees in California are protected. If you were injured or made ill anywhere in California while working on a farm or agricultural facility, schedule a consultation with our compassionate and passionate workers comp attorneys to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve and the necessary support during this challenging time.
Your consultation with our experienced airline employee workers’ compensation attorneys is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for which you qualify.
California Agricultural & Farm Workers Comp Attorneys: 800-964-8047