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What rights do injured farm workers have?

In North Dakota, the rights of farm workers play a key role in ensuring fair treatment and protection in the event of injuries. The nature of farm work exposes laborers to various hazards, ranging from machinery accidents to chemical exposures.

Knowing and understanding the rights injured farm workers have is important for those who contribute to the state’s agricultural productivity.

Maintaining a safe workspace

Farm workers, like all employees, have the right to a safe workplace. Employers in North Dakota must adhere to the safety standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workers should receive proper training, and safety measures must be in place to reduce the risks associated with farm work. If an injury occurs due to the employer’s failure to maintain a safe environment, the injured farm worker has the right to seek compensation. In doing so, the worker holds the employer accountable for the breach of safety obligations. If the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, injured farm workers may have other ways to hold him or her liable.

Protecting workers from retaliation

North Dakota law prohibits employers from retaliating against injured farm workers who file workers’ compensation claims. Farm workers have the right to report injuries. They also have the right to seek benefits without fear of losing their job or facing discriminatory actions.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agriculture and farming are among the nation’s most dangerous industries. In 2020, workers reported 11,880 farming injuries that were serious enough to warrant time off from work. Understanding the causes and consequences of these injuries encourages a culture of safety within the agricultural sector.