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Agricultural, forestry Virginia’s most hazardous occupations

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Workers' Compensation Blog Post |

Agricultural and forestry jobs are among Virginia’s most hazardous occupations due to a variety of factors. These industries often involve working with heavy machinery and handling hazardous chemicals. They also involve navigating unpredictable outdoor conditions.

The physical demands of tasks, such as lifting heavy objects and operating equipment, pose additional risks to workers’ health and safety.

Exposure to hazardous substances

A key reason agricultural and forestry are the state’s most hazardous occupations is the exposure workers face to hazardous substances. Pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals can pose serious health risks to workers. Workers may experience acute or chronic health effects from exposure to these substances. Respiratory problems, skin irritation and neurological damage are all possible results of exposure.

Machinery accidents and injuries

Another major hazard in agricultural and forestry work is the risk of machinery accidents. Farming and forestry equipment such as tractors, chainsaws and logging machinery can be quite dangerous. Accidents involving these machines can lead to fatalities. They can also lead to a variety of injuries, including crush injuries, amputations and traumatic brain injuries.

Outdoor hazards and environmental risks

Working outdoors exposes people to a range of environmental hazards and risks. Adverse weather conditions can pose dangers to workers’ health and safety. Exposure to wildlife, uneven terrain and natural disasters can further increase risks.

Bull Run Now reports that agriculture is the state’s most dangerous industry, with seven Virginia agricultural workers losing their lives in 2021. Addressing occupational hazards requires a multifaceted approach that includes implementing safety regulations and providing comprehensive training for workers. By prioritizing the health and safety of agricultural and forestry workers, the state can work toward reducing workplace injuries and fatalities in these sectors.