According to the unofficial statistics provided by the Virginia Farm Bureau and reported by the Southeast Farm Press, the number of farmer accidental deaths in Virginia fell significantly in 2010, from 14 deaths in 2009 to eight deaths last year.
Just as in past years, tractor rollovers accounted for a large percentage of the agricultural deaths in Virginia, with ATV (all-terrain vehicles) accidents also accounting for a number of farmer deaths. The remaining farmer deaths took place due to other tractor issues, heavy equipment accidents, and other collisions.
Since the statistics have been kept, about 40 percent of all farm-related deaths have taken place because of tractor rollover accidents. Farming safety advocates believe that these numbers can be reduced with more awareness and education – and with the installation of more rollover protective structures. In addition, farmers should be encouraged to wear seat belts while using tractors.
In addition, farming safety advocates urged farmers to be more cautious when driving farming equipment on public roads, where a number of farm accidents occur. Farms can make driving heavy equipment on roads and highways safer by making sure that their vehicles are visible, by adding warning lights and slow-moving vehicle signs, and by using escort vehicles.
A farming safety coordinator also warned about the dangers of ATVs on farms – vehicles that are often used for transportation around the farm and vehicles that have increased in popularity among farmers over the past 20 years.
Chandler Law Group
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Charlottesville, VA 22901
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Chandler Law Group
Awarded: $1,400,000 Virginia Workers' Compensation Settlement
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