Agricultural workers face many significant dangers each day, and as a result, illnesses are common in the industry.
It’s important to be able to identify the warning signs for illnesses commonly contracted by agricultural workers so that you can keep yourself safe and seek medical care if you are concerned for your health.
Read on to learn about five warning signs of common illnesses sustained by agricultural workers.
#1 - Ringing in the ears after leaving the job site.
If you experience ringing in your ears after leaving work, this can be an early indication that you may gradually suffer hearing loss over time. The noise that comes from farm tools and equipment can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
You may experience temporary hearing loss in the beginning, but the more often you are exposed to loud noises, it is possible that permanent damage can result. Some other common symptoms associated with hearing loss include:
- Challenges understanding typical conversations.
- Leveling up the volume on the radio or TV when others seem to hear just fine.
- Difficulties hearing background noises.
For reference and to better understand how big of an issue loud noises are for farmworkers, the acceptable noise exposure for a typical eight-hour workday is 90 dB(A). Some of the most common farm sounds that can cause damage to your hearing include:
- Tractor (90-100dB(A))
- Header (88-900dB(A))
- Orchard sprayer (85-100dB(A))
- Angle grinder (95-105dB(A))
- Bench grinder (90-95dB(A))
- Chainsaw (105-120dB(A))
- Pig shed at feed time (95-105dB(A))
- Shotgun (over 140 dB(lin))
If you regularly work with any of the aforementioned farm elements, it is a good idea to have your hearing checked regularly by a doctor, and follow any recommendations they have for you.
#2 - Changes in your skin’s color or texture.
If you begin to notice your skin’s color or texture going through changes, this may be an indication that you have a connective tissue disease. Some other common symptoms associated with these types of conditions include:
- Changes in your vision,
- Significant pain,
- Feeling like you are sick, or
- Muscle weakness.
Farmworkers are at risk of connective tissue diseases as a result of consistently subjecting the body’s joints to heavy loads and whole-body vibrations.
#3 - Itchy, dry skin that appears over time.
These symptoms may be warning signs of dermatitis, which is a skin condition that occurs due to coming into direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it. Other common symptoms linked to dermatitis include:
- A rash on swollen skin that varies in color depending on your skin color.
- Blisters that can ooze and crust.
- Flaky skin (dandruff).
- Thickened skin.
- Bumps in the hair follicles.
#4 - You find it challenging to get enough air in your lungs.
If you find it difficult to breathe when you are not exercising or exerting yourself, this may be a signal that you are developing a respiratory problem. Other common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Relentless cough,
- Noisy breathing,
- Chest pain that lingers,
- Chronic mucus, or
- Coughing up blood.
Some of the most prevalent respiratory problems farmworkers experience are:
- Organic toxic dust syndrome
#5 - Eye discomfort and sensitivity to light.
Symptoms such as these may imply you are experiencing a short-term eye condition. However, long-term ailments can also result, such as:
- Cataract formation,
- Damage to the retina, and
- Pterygium development.
We’re Here to Help Ill and Injured Farmworkers
If you have sustained an illness or injury while working on the farm, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team right away to learn more about what we can do to help you.
Contact Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC today by calling (916) 884-6554 or by filling out the online contact form with the details of your case to learn more about how we can help you.