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Accident rates and types among self-employed private forest owners

Lindroos, Ola and Burström, Lage (2010). Accident rates and types among self-employed private forest owners. Accident analysis and prevention. 42 :6 , 1729-1735
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.013


Half of all Swedish forests are owned by private individuals, and at least 215 000 people work in these privately owned forest holdings. However, only lethal accidents are systematically monitored among self-employed forest workers. Therefore, data from the registries of the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the Labor Insurance Organization and the regional University Hospital in Umeå were gathered to allow us to perform a more in-depth assessment of the rate and types of accidents that occurred among private forest owners.
We found large differences between the registries in the type and number of accidents that were reported. We encountered difficulties in defining “self-employed forest worker” and also in determining whether the accidents that did occur happened during work or leisure time. Consequently, the estimates for the accident rate that we obtained varied from 32 to >4300 injured persons per year in Sweden, depending on the registry that was consulted, the definition of the sample population that was used, and the accident severity definition that was employed. Nevertheless, the different registries gave a consistent picture of the types of accidents that occur while individuals are participating in self-employed forestry work. Severe accidents were relatively common, as self-employed forestry work fatalities constituted 7% of the total number of fatalities in the work authority registry. Falling trees were associated with many of these fatal accidents as well as with accidents that resulted in severe non-fatal injuries. Thus, unsafe work methods appeared more related to the occurrence of an accident than the equipment that was being used at the time of the accident (e.g., a chainsaw). Improvement of the workers’ skills should therefore be considered to be an important prevention measure that should be undertaken in this field.
The challenges in improving the safety in these smallest of companies, which fall somewhere between the purview of occupational and consumer safety, are exemplified and discussed.

Authors/Creators:Lindroos, Ola and Burström, Lage
Title:Accident rates and types among self-employed private forest owners
Series Name/Journal:Accident analysis and prevention
Year of publishing :2010
Page range:1729-1735
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.elsevier.com, doi:10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.013
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E12 Labour and employment
J Handling, transport, storage and protection of agricultural products > J12 Handling, transport, storage and protection of forest products
X Agricola extesions > X38 Human medicine, health, and safety
Obsolete subject words > INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS > Health and medical services in society
Keywords:accident statistics, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), micro-companies, leisure-time injuries, chainsaw, firewood
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Alternative URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00140130903197461
ID Code:8232
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: Ola Lindroos
Deposited On:07 Jul 2011 08:29
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:46

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