Commercial farming, even small-scale operations, often requires employing workers in various capacities. Like most workplaces, farms pose damage and injury risks to their employees. In many cases, these injury risks are unique. They might even be more potent because of the nature of agricultural production.
The farm might have an obligation to provide these employees with workers’ compensation. Machinery, environmental hazards and other risks may cause injuries to farm employees.
Workers’ Compensation for Farms
Should an employee get injured at work, they may have to take time off to recover. They may also need income to support their medical needs. Workers’ compensation insurance can help the farm pay employees in case a job-related injury forces them off work. The states recognize the importance of this protection. They mandate that most employers have to provide workers’ compensation.
Many farms may have to provide some or all their employees with workers’ compensation. However, workers’ compensation requirements are often complicated for farms. For example, certain employees may not qualify for workers’ compensation because they are part-time workers. Other farms may be able to carry an exemption from workers’ compensation requirements because of their employment practices.
It is important for farmers to talk to their agricultural insurance agency about whether they need workers’ compensation insurance. A farm insurance agent can help the business determine how best to enroll in coverage.
Preventing Workers’ Compensation Risks
Workers’ compensation law is at times a bit confusing. Employees can often receive workers’ comp regardless of whether the injury was their fault. For the farm, this means that they may have to provide workers’ comp even if they weren’t liable for the accident.
It can help both employees and the business if farmers take steps to reduce injury risks. Safety precautions on farms often reduce workers’ compensation risks. Precautions a farmer might consider taking include:
· Following hiring practices that ensure that only professional, qualified employees join the farm.
· Requiring equipment, machinery and other training and other induction practices for all employees. This can help employees better recognize risks they pose to others.
· Conducting regular checkups of farming equipment and hazardous materials.
· Practicing safe operation of machinery and enforcing strict rules for hazardous materials storage and handling.
· Enforcing thorough supervision and accountability practices of all employees, at all times.
· Warning employees about developing health or safety hazards on the property.
Even though farmers may never be able to eliminate workers’ comp risks, they can take steps to reduce them. Doing so can help protect employees.
Need farm insurance? Call Mosley Agency, Inc. at 405.224.1000 or 800.274.2288 right now. We can help you get a quote on an affordable policy.
Also read - Types of Farm Insurance and How to Choose