In order to gain an idea
of the accident situation and also to obtain information as a basis for the planning
of preventive measures in agriculture, the Swedish Farmers' Safety and Preventive
Health Association, Lantbrukshalsan, together with the Swedish Board of Occupational
Safety and Health and the Central Bureau of Statistics, sent out 20,000 questionnaires
to farms and forest companies concerning accidents that occurred in 1987.
In 1987, there were about
227,700 farms with forestry and agricultural operation in Sweden.
A total of 7,500 accidents
occurred in agriculture and 2,700 in forestry.
In all, agricultural accidents
occurred on about 7% of farms with agriculture and about 2% of the combined agriculture/forestry
farms and pure forestry farms. The relative incidence of accidents, i.e. number
of accidents per 1 million working hours, is about 50 in agriculture, while the
figure for forestry accidents is 120. However, these figures are uncertain due
to uncertainty regarding the number of working hours.
- There is a higher incidence
of accidents per 1 million working hours on small farms.
- If the proprietor runs
the farm on his own, the relative incidence of accidents per 1 million hours worked
is lower than if several people work on the farm.
- 40% of all accidents occur
during work with farm animals, of which 6% during mucking-out, stable cleaning
and concentrate handling. Dairy cows account for 22% and other animals 18%.
- 30% of all accidents occur
during work with crops (including storage). 8% of these occur during storage and
distribution of roughage.
- 15% of the accidents occur
during construction work and work with equipment.
- 75% of the accidents lead
to absence and 50% to sick leave.
- The average absence per
accident is about 29 days.
- Accidents in conjunction
with tractor operation and work with animals account for the highest number of
sick leave days. 28% of the injured persons did not seek any form of treatment.
- The risk percentage is
the same for men as for women. However, on average, women have a higher number
of sick days.
- Men suffer 80% of all
accidents. Women suffer more accidents caused by animals and falling than men.
- The most common injuries
are sprains, twists and strains with an average of 36 days absence per accident.
- The main cause of the
accidents is kicks from animals (26%), falls to a lower level (14%) and falls
on the same level (9%).
- In 22% of the cases, the
accidents lead to injuries to hips, legs and knees.
Factors common to both
agriculture and forestry:
- Compared to other trades
the incidence of accident is high, particularly in the case of forestry work.
- The relative agreement
with the official statistics (ISA) is usually good for different variables but
not so good for the total numbers of accidents.
- According to official
statistics, there were about 5,000 registered accidents while this study found
roughly 10,000. There is a lot of explanations for this discrepancy. The data
collection for the official statistics is based on the work injury insurance.
Even if all economically active persons - employees, employers and self-employed
persons - are compulsorily insured for occupational injuries, the farmers don't
use the work injury insurance for themselves and their family in the same way
as the employees. Probably there is also missing in the data collection.
SOURCE AND NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE
Stockholm, Sweden: Lantbrukshalsan AB (The Swedish Farmers' Safety and Preventive
Health Association); 1989. n.p.
document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of
Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers
for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety
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