The Farmworker Advocacy Network, a statewide organization focused on improving the living and working conditions of farmworkers and poultry workers across North Carolina, is planning a series of press conferences and events to draw attention to hazardous-and often fatal-working conditions that farmers face. The agricultural workers advocacy group released a film called Harvest of Dignity earlier this year that focuses on the lives of modern NC farmworkers.
Legal Aid of North Carolina recently filed a complaint directed toward the state's failure to address and correct work safety violations. Fines for occupational safety hazards weren't being issued and migrant housing spaces were not being inspected. Part of the complaint states that "many migrant housing units are overcrowded, in disrepair and have unsanitary cooking and washing facilities." The NC Department of Labor has failed to enforce citations for work conditions that they have found to cause serious injuries.
According to the Farmworker Advocacy Network, North Carolina is home to over 175,000 farmers and their families. Farmworkers work in very dangerous environments. As advocacy groups bring more attention to work safety in NC, new regulations will begin to be enforced to protect innocent workers who have the right to work in safe environments.
Working Conditions for NC Farmers (facts provided by NC Farmworker Institute):
5 out of 10 NC farmworkers cannot afford food for themselves or their families
Only 10 percent of farmworkers report having health insurance through an employer health plan
Not only are farmers provided low wages and insufficient health coverage, but the working conditions are so hazardous that OSHA investigates deadly farm accidents that, at times, involve teenage deaths. Children working on farms are at a higher risk for on-the-job deaths and injuries.
Unfortunately, under North Carolina law, many farmworkers are not covered by workers' compensation insurance. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a farmwork injury, contact Brent Adams and Associates to see if you can recover for these injuries from your employer.
Personal injury and workers comp attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates help injured workers receive the compensation they deserve if they were injured on-the-job due to an occupational safety hazard or accident. Families who lost a loved one because of a workplace accident can speak with one of our lawyers to learn about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in NC.