Farming Deaths Rise in Virginia

A report out from the Virginia Farm Bureau on Friday shows that farming deaths are on the rise.

In 2012, ten farmers died on the job, which was up from seven the year before.

More than half of the deaths were related to tractor accidents, which is a growing trend.

Since 1994, stats from the Farm Bureau show on average that more than ten farmers a year die as a result of a tractor accident.

To help keep things safer the Farm Bureau is offering to pay more than a quarter of the price for roll-over bars on tractors.

Many local farmers say roll-over bars can be life-saving.

Newer models tend to have them while older tractors don't.

Carl Arey, who's the President of the Augusta County chapter of the Farm Bureau, says while the bars can cost between $800 to $1,000, it is a huge benefit to have.

He says tractors can easily tip over, especially when weight shifts while driving on the side of a hill.

Arey encourages farmers to get them because having a roll-over bar could be the difference between living and having thousands of pounds fall on top of the farmer.

"If the tractor was to roll over it would only go half-way over. Therefore, the chances of it trapping the farmer underneath are much less," he explained. "The newer cab tractors have come out and are much safer."

The cab tractors offer a full shell of protection around the seat and are the safest styles on the market, according to Arey.

However, he says there's still lots of work ahead for farmers to take advantage of the Farm Bureau's initiative.

Arey says only about half of the tractors he's seen in the Valley have roll-over protection.


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