Agricultural injuries in Korea and errors in systems of safety

Hyocher Kim 1, 2  ,  
Kyungsuk Lee 1,  
National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration of Korea
Kuopio Campus Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(3):432–436
Agriculture is known to be a dangerous industry in Korea, as well as in other countries. According to earlier studies, the root cause of occupational injury can be identified with errors in the various systems of safety, and such identification is helpful for the prevention of occupational injury.

The aims of this study were to examine the root causes of cases of agricultural injury in Korea, based on insurance claims and identification of errors in systems of safety.

Material and Methods:
Using the Korean Mutual Aid Insurance’s injury claim database, 277 injury cases were identified, of which 68 were contacted. Root causes were categorized, using the logic tree diagramming method and the systems of safety described in the literature.

Seventy-five percent of all injuries were attributable to falls, strangulation, amputation and collision from flying and falling objects. 194 root causes were found for all injuries. The percentages of errors in all the systems of safety for each root cause were 24.7% – training/procedure, 20.3% – design, 11.9% – mitigation, 9.3% – human factor, 6.2% – maintenance/inspection, and 1.0% – warning/notification. The percentage of root causes which could not be categorized due to a shortage of information was 18.6%.

It was found that most agricultural injuries were caused by a complex layer of root causes which were classified as errors in the systems of safety. This result indicates that not only training and personal protective equipment, but also regulation of safety design, mitigation devices, inspection/maintenance of workplaces, and other factors play an important role in preventing agricultural injuries. The identification of errors will help farmers to implement easily an effective prevention programme.

Hyocher Kim   
National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration of Korea
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