On March, 7, 2016, a 64-year-old Elkhart County man was killed while working on one of his two farms near Bristol, Indiana. While repairing a skid loader used on his farm, the farmer became trapped within the arms of the skid loader and although other workers at the farm observed the incident, they were unable to rescue and remove the farmer from the implement. Elkhart County Sheriff and members of the Bristol Fire Department were dispatched to the scene but were also unable to timely remove the farmer from the arms of the skid loader. The Elkhart County Coroner ruled the death an accident and further stated that the death was the result of the farmer sustaining multiple blunt force trauma throughout his body due to the pressure of the arms of the skid loader. Members of the community noted the farmer’s devotion to dairy farming, knowledge of Holstein cattle, and volunteer efforts with local 4-H clubs. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first tragic farming accident experienced by the farmer’s family, as one of the farmer’s son also was fatally injured during a farming accident occurring in Clinton County in 2004.
The use of large agricultural implements and machinery has become a necessary component of the farming industry as a means to produce increased crop, produce, and dairy yields. However, due in part, to the use of this machinery, farming and agribusiness has become one of the most dangerous professions with an increased rate of death and injury when compared to manufacturing or other non-skilled professions. Demonstrating the perils associated with the agricultural industry, a study conducted by the Indiana Department of Labor showed that the agricultural industry accounted for the second highest work injury and illness rate in 2010 and attributed to nearly 20% of all fatal workplace injuries, most of which were likely preventable. Of all the injuries sustained by agricultural workers, the most common were those resulting from tractor overturns.
Maintaining safety procedures and practices when operating agricultural implements and machinery should be a priority in the workplace to prevent serious injury and death. If you or a loved one is seriously injured due to a farming accident or other incident while on the job, please contact the experienced legal team at Schiller Law at 888-578-3100 or on the web at IndyInjured.com for a free consultation and case evaluation.