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What are the risks that workers on ranches commonly face?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Working on a ranch involves a unique set of risks due to the nature of the tasks, the environment and the equipment used. Ranch workers are responsible for various jobs, from handling livestock to operating machinery, each subject to its own hazards.

Awareness and proper management of these risks are crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of those working in this demanding and often hazardous profession. Implementing safety protocols and training is essential as well.

Animal handling injuries

One of the primary risks on a ranch comes from handling livestock. Animals, such as cattle and horses, can be unpredictable and may kick, bite or trample workers, leading to severe injuries.

Machinery and vehicle accidents

Ranch work often involves using heavy machinery and vehicles, including tractors, ATVs and other farming equipment. Accidents involving this machinery can result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Exposure to harsh environmental conditions

Ranch workers are often exposed to extreme weather conditions, including intense sun, heat and rain. Prolonged exposure without adequate protection can lead to heat-related illnesses, dehydration or sunburn.

Chemical and biological hazards

Handling pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers poses chemical risks. Tasks like cleaning animal pens expose workers to biological hazards. The exact risks depend on what’s being used or worked with.

Physical strain and repetitive injuries

Ranch work is physically demanding, often involving lifting, bending, and repetitive motions. This can lead to musculoskeletal injuries or chronic conditions like back pain.

Injured ranch hands should ensure they get proper medical care. All workers have specific rights in these cases, so taking steps to ensure those are upheld is critical for anyone in this position.