The holiday season presents a unique set of work hazards. Christmas tree farm workers should be aware of the risks associated with the job, and the ways in which they can protect themselves from injury. Those who are injured while cutting down Christmas trees this year may need an attorney to assist them with their workers’ compensation claim.
The Agriculture Industry
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. Those who work on farms, including Christmas tree farms, are at high risk for both fatal and nonfatal injuries. In Pennsylvania, there were 23 farm and agricultural fatalities in 2018 alone, according to the Pennsylvania State University. Raising awareness of the hazards associated with Christmas tree farm work can help reduce the annual number of workplace injuries.
Christmas Tree Farm Hazards
Christmas tree farm workers face many of the same hazards as those who work on traditional farms year-round. Common hazards to safeguard against include:
- Lights: Christmas tree lights present fire and electrical hazards, therefore employers should regularly check for broken or cracked sockets, damaged extension cords, or loose connections.
- Ladders: Employers must ensure that ladders are in good repair and that workers know how to safely use them. Those working from heights must also be provided the appropriate fall protection.
- Pesticide: Federal worker protection standards (WPS) require tree farmers to comply with safety standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The WPS aims to protect pesticide handlers and agricultural workers from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides.
- Long hours: Holiday workers may be expected to work long hours. This, combined with heavy physical labor and extreme temperatures, can lead to exhaustion.
- Heavy machinery and equipment: Christmas tree farm workers often use tractors, balers, chainsaws, and other cutting tools, which should be maintained and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid injury.
- Hazardous noise: Farming is among occupations that have the highest risk for hearing loss, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels is largely preventable by maintaining equipment and utilizing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Repetitive motions: Performing the same tasks over a long period may cause workers to develop repetitive stress injuries or musculoskeletal disorders. Bending, twisting, and lifting heavy objects are common causes of this type of injury.
Bucks County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Christmas Tree Farm Workers
If you were injured while working on a Christmas tree farm, contact a Bucks County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our experienced attorneys can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 888-999-1962 for a free consultation. From our offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we represent injured workers throughout Pennsylvania.