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Even supposedly safe farm work can be dangerous

Parents in Franklin, Ohio, may be concerned about what they have allowed their children to do after more than six dozen teenagers were recently sprayed with a fungicide in a corn field. According to reports, the teens were working as detasselers when a crop-dusting plane flew over an adjacent field. A report from one of the workers--a 13-year-old male--indicated that it felt like it was raining for a little while before someone told him and the 78 other workers to get out of the field around 8:40 a.m. Firefighters reported to the scene and helped decontaminate the workers with soap and water.

The teenagers were working for Team Corn as detasselers, a job that is often held by people of this age. Federal regulations allow children as young as 12 years old to work on a farm as long as the jobs are not considered hazardous and the parents of the children have given their consent. But even if the job seems safe, there are instances where it could turn bad. In addition to being sprayed with fungicide, workers can be exposed to other dangers. For instance, two teenage girls were electrocuted by irrigation equipment in 2011. Wrongful death suits were filed against the company they were working for as well as Monsanto, an agricultural company that has a notorious reputation. Monsanto was contracting that company and was also contracting Team Corn when these teens were sprayed with chemicals. Those who were sprayed were expected to be released from the hospital with no major injuries, but the long-term effects of such an exposure could be underestimated here.

Many farming jobs have hazards present in day-to-day labor. Though many safety precautions are put in place to prevent such hazards from causing incidents, accidents do happen. If you have been injured while on the job -- whether you work on a farm or anywhere else -- you should consider speaking to an attorney about the damage that has been done. Legal professionals can be essential to filing a successful claim against an employer.


Source: 
Huffington Post, "Pesotum, Illinois Teen Farmers Sprayed With Fungicide In Corn Field" David Mercer, Jul. 25, 2013

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