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Risk factors for serious injury in Finnish agriculture.

Rautiainen RH; Ledolter J; Donham KJ; Ohsfeldt RL; Zwerling C
Am J Ind Med 2009 May; 52(5):419-428
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
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-K01-OH-008300; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007548; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008460; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008491
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Performing Organization
University of Iowa
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division