BACKGROUND: Previous studies indicate 20% of injuries represent 80% of injury costs in agriculture. To help prevent the most costly injuries, we aimed to identify characteristics and risk factors associated with serious injuries. METHODS: We analyzed insurance records of 93,550 self-employed Finnish farmers. We ranked injury causes by claim cost and used multiple logistic regressions to identify risk factors for (any) injury and serious injury (injuries exceeding claim costs of 2000 euros). RESULTS: A total of 5,507 compensated injuries occurred in 2002 (rate 5.9/100 person-years), and 1,167 or 21% of them (rate 1.25/100 person-years) were serious. The causes/sources resulting in highest average claim costs were motor vehicles; stairs, scaffoldings, and ladders; trailers and wagons; floors, walkways, and steps; other structures and obstacles; augers, mills, and grain handling equipment; horses; combines and harvesting equipment; tractor steps; and uneven and slippery terrain. Older age, male gender, higher income level, greater field size, residing on the farm, Finnish language (vs. Swedish), occupational health service (OHS) membership, and animal production were risk factors for injury. The risk factors for serious injury were similar; however, the effects of age, income level, and the raising of horses were more prominent. Language, residence, ownership status, and OHS membership were not risk factors for serious injury. CONCLUSIONS: Cost-effective prevention efforts should address the following risk factors: older age, male gender, larger income and operation size, livestock production (particularly dairy, swine, and horses), motor vehicle incidents, falls from elevation, and slips, trips and falls.
Accident-analysis; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Age-factors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Animal-husbandry-workers Farmers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Statistical-analysis; Walking-surfaces; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: agriculture; injury; accident; insurance; workers' compensation
Risto H. Rautiainen, Assistant Professor, Deputy Director, Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, The University of Iowa, 103 IREH, Oakdale Campus, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000