Few experiences are as traumatic as getting injured on the job. In addition to the physical impact and pain you must endure, you will likely be subject to the process of seeking workers' compensation. Both of these processes are highly stressful and can seemingly make recovery even more difficult. Injuries are common on farms, though—and farms are common in Iowa. These farms are not always free from hazards.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, over 30 million acres of farmland are operated in Iowa. On these farms, a range of injuries and ailments can occur. The following are three injuries that are particularly likely to appear in a farming environment:
1. Occupational dermatitis
The cumulative impact of dealing with toxins or irritants is often overlooked when considering the safety of farm work. One of the first ailments these chemicals can cause is the emergence of occupational dermatitis. Ammonia fertilizers, pesticides and animal food are just a few of the potential irritants that farmers encounter, and continual exposure can easily cause dermatitis.
2. Respiratory diseases
Just as these chemicals irritate the skin when workers come into direct contact with them, they also irritate the respiratory tract when farmers inhale them. This makes respiratory infections and diseases particularly common amongst workers on farms. In addition to harmful chemicals, corn dust and grains can collect in farmers' respiratory tracts and cause serious breathing problems.
3. Loss of hearing
One of the most serious and commonplace injuries that farm workers sustain is the sacrifice of their hearing abilities. Much of the machinery and equipment on a farm produces high volumes when in operation, and even with ear protection, it can be irrevocably damaging to workers who are exposed to it on a continual basis. Hearing loss is typically permanent, so it is important to prevent exposure to this hazard whenever it is possible.