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Conference abstract, 2013

Evaluation of a Swedish Programme on Injury Prevention in Rural Farm Businesses

Lundqvist, Peter; Alwall Svennefelt, Catharina; Pinzke, Stefan


Introduction Swedish research has shown that only 10% of actual injuries are reported in the agricultural sector and that the injury frequency is highest for small farm units (< 400 work hours/year). These findings, together with a high frequency of fatal injuries, prompted the Swedish Government to initiate an action programme against injuries on farms. The aim was to develop a system of farm supervisors, provide training for these and plan for a first action period (2009-2013), related to the EU Rural Development Programme. This action plan was given the name “Safe Farmers Common Sense” to point out that the key to improved safety is in the head of the farmer. The Swedish Farmers’ Association is running the programme, with part-time farmers as supervisors, and they offer support to farmers through farm visits or a short course entitled “Three Steps to a Safe Farm”. Aims / Objectives The aim of this programme is to reduce the number of injuries by 50% by the end of the action period in 2013, but also to make farmers’ more safety aware and more proactive in improving safety on their farms. Material & Methods In order to evaluate this programme for the first whole year of activity (2010), a telephone survey was carried out in early 2011 with farmers who had received an on-farm visit (220, 73% response rate) or attended the short safety course (364, 77% response rate) and a control group (209, 84% response rate). The farmers were asked whether they had introduced any preventive measures on their farms, but also about their attitudes to health and safety. Results The results showed that over 90% of those surveyed were satisfied with the activity in which they had participated. Regarding the key question of whether they had taken any measures to improve working conditions and prevent injuries on their farm, almost 70% of farmers who attended the safety course reported having made some kind of improvement (e.g. technical improvement, changing working routines, personal protective equipment or further safety education). Of those who received a farm visit, 90% had made improvements. In the control group, less than 20% had made any safety improvements during the period studied. Conclusion These results indicate that activities that stimulate farmers to improve their working conditions could be effective, but it is important to monitor whether the effects persist and evaluate the effects on the actual injury rate. Further evaluations of these and other farmers will follow.

Published in

Journal of Rural Medicine
2013, Volume: 8, number: 1, pages: 93-93
Publisher: Japanese Association of Rural Medicine


18th International Congress of Rural Health and Medicine