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Report, 2007

Skadehändelser bland självverksamma privata skogsägare

Lindroos, Ola; Burström, Lage


Half of the Swedish forest is owned by private persons, so called private forest owners. At least two thirds of the private forest owners conduct work them-selves on their forest holding. This kind of self-employment sums up to 14 million work hours annually, which corresponds to half of the work time conducted in Swedish forestry. Available data indicates that accidents are common in self-employed forestry, but except for lethal accidents there is no systematic monitoring of this kind of accidents. There is consequently a lack of knowledge about accidents related to self-employed forestry. The objective of this study was therefore to increase the knowledge about occurred accident events related to self-employed forestry through the analysis of data in available registers. Accident event data was gathered for the period of 1st January 1996 through 31th December 2001 from the registers of the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the Labour Market Insurances and the regional hospital in Umeå. In the comparisons between the registers, the expected differences in accident types and numerals were found. Additionally, the effects of the difficulty to define the population and that the work to a large extent is performed on a leisure time basis were manifested. Consequently, estimations of total number of accidents can vary considerably depending on the choice of population definition, register and accident severity. A number of estimations were conducted, with a spread of 85 through at least 2 550 accidents per year in the country. Despite the many differences between the three registers, they gave a relatively consistent picture of the accident events. Severe accidents were common in the self-employed forestry work and the casualties corresponded to 7% of all lethal accident in the Swedish Work Environment Authority register during the period. Tree felling was one of the activities associated with most accidents, in which the falling tree and thus unsafe tree felling seemed to be more related to the accident event than the chainsaw itself. The improvement of the self-employed forest owners’ felling skills is therefore seen as an important prevention measure. Furthermore, firewood processing (i.e. to cut and split logs) was found to be a common, but hitherto rather unknown accident event. A systematic and continuous monitoring of accidents is one of the prerequisites of meaningful evaluations of preventive measures. The studied registers contribute with important information, but cannot be considered to give the full picture of the accidents in self-employed forestry. The Swedish Forest Agency’s annual interview survey to private forest owners is instead recommended as a suitable and cost-efficient data source. To combine the gathering of data on performed work with accident events would also add the hitherto missing information about exposure factors, which is necessary in order to establish well founded assessments of the incidence

Published in

Arbetsrapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning
2007, number: 183
Publisher: SLU

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Lage, Burström
Umeå University

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

URI (permanent link to this page)