Having a comprehensive workers compensation program in the farming industry here in Wisconsin can play a big role in the success of agricultural business and local farmers. The farming industry have one of the highest injury rates due to the operating of large equipment, long hours and exposure to large animals. Employee safety and preventing injuries is important as farming operations have more frequent injuries that are preventable with a formal safety and loss control program in place. At Ansay & Associates, we provide resources to assist the farming operations manager to implement these programs which will improve the safety of your most valuable asset - your employees. In addition, safety programs will in turn reduce reportable claims and lost time which will ultimately result in lower workers compensation premiums.
Requirements to provide workers compensation insurance are provided by the state of Wisconsin. These requirements are typically broader in the farming industry and are spelled out clearly by the Wisconsin department of Workforce Development Workers Compensation Division. They are as follows:
Non - Farm Employers Required to Insure:
A non-farm employer who usually employs 3 or more employees (full-time or part-time) becomes subject to the Worker's Compensation Act and is required to obtain insurance. An employer who pays combined gross wages of $500 or more in a calendar quarter is also required to obtain insurance.
Farmers Required to Insure:
There is no wage threshold for farmers. It doesn't matter how much a farmer pays in wages. What matters is the number of employees (after excluding certain employees who are family members, relatives or "exchanged workers" as described in more detail below).
For farmers, the threshold is 6 employees, not 3. However, farmers are not required to obtain insurance unless they have 6 or more employees on at least 20 days during a calendar year. After the 20th day, farmers have 10 days to obtain insurance.
A calendar year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.
The 20 days do not have to be consecutive.
on each of the 20 days, it can be the same 6 employees or 6 different people.
The 6 employees may be full-time or part-time.
The 6 employees may be at more than one location within the state.
Certain relatives are not counted in determining whether there are 6 employees.
If you are experiencing a high injury rate on your farm, please give us a call and we would be happy to meet with you for an informal review.