According to statistics, most of the farmers in this world are self-employed and are not hired by any commercial firm. Most of those self-employed are working with some assistance from their family members or some hired employees at peak times.
Also, the average proportion of self-employment in all the sectors is much lower than that of the agriculture sector. And the employees on a temporary contract are also the highest here. What does this imply?
Less exposure to the outside world being the culprit, these self-employed people are not as educated as others. And it is a proven fact. Only 22% of the agricultural managers have completed the basic training in agriculture. The others only had practical experience.
The point to note here is that they are not fully aware of the risks associated with farming. The agricultural industry is the most hazardous of all due to the fact that most of it includes the outdoor chores of handling machinery and outside extremities.
Even then the farms and farm machinery insurance isn’t as prominent as it should be. In fact, it is well below the accepted level.
The List of Risks Associated
Just to make sure that the farmers know how fatal and non-fatal accidents can hinder their daily agricultural activities, here is a list of some risks associated.
- Physical injury to the farmworkers during regular maintenance. The irony is that the maintaining farmer can be harmed due to lack of maintenance. In fact, the most exposed person is the one maintaining the place.
- Hazards related to operating mechanical equipment. These hazards include crushing, dealing with high-pressure fluid injection, entanglement, etc. Welding and heating equipment also pose a thermal hazard.
- Then there are chemical hazards dangerous substances that the farmer has to deal with. The best example is pesticides.
- The farmer isn’t away from explosion hazards from the equipment containing dangerous substances. Some equipment that contains some inflammable substances are fuel tanks, silos, and bins.
- Then there are biological hazards that include lack of sewage infrastructure, slurry tanks, contaminated biological agents and ditches.
- An under-trained farmer can also face some ergonomic hazards where he doesn’t know the postures and tool usage while operating on the farm. The farmer must know how to shape the body while doing particular tasks.
- A farmer might have to work in confined spaces which are restricted only for trained employees. These hazards are often neglected but are very significant in the farms.
- The livestock at the farm can also physically injure the farmer.
The risks mentioned here are only directed towards the well-being of the farmer. However, other factors of input including machinery, livestock and capital investments are also at a risk. For example, lack of maintenance of machinery can lead to high depreciation and eventually obsolescence at a very early age. The livestock on the farm is prone to some disasters whether natural or human-made.
The Bottom Line
So, we cannot just ignore farm insurance. Looking at the statistics, not many farmers know about these risks due to a lack of education and particular practical experiences. We hope after going through these risks, a farmer takes the necessary steps of getting a farm insurance policy.