Occupational accidents with mowing machines in Austrian agriculture

Robert Kogler 1,  
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Division of Agricultural Engineering, Vienna, Austria
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(1):137–141
The number of recognized accidents during agricultural work is still very high in Austria. In the years 2008 to 2009, there occurred 84 approved work accidents with mowing machines. The main causes of accidents were the loss of control of machines, transportations or conveyances, hand tools, objects or animals. In the literature, numerous studies of general agricultural and forestry accident situations are available. Detailed studies on specific types of agricultural machines, which describe concrete circumstances and causes of accidents, are in limited numbers. The accident database from the General Accident Insurance Institution and the Austrian Social Insurance Institution of Farmers, with personal and accidental data information about mowing machine accidents, were analyzed. The results showed that most accidents occurred on mixed agricultural farms (68%). The majority of the injured persons were male (86%), over 40-years-old (86%) with an agricultural or forestry education (91%). The most common accidents occurred in the summer months (69%) and on afternoons during the working week (79%). The majority of accidents were caused by contact with the machine (55%) and the loss of control (73%) during their operation (60%) and harvesting work (63%). The most frequently injuries were wounds, fractures and superficial injuries (81%) to the upper and lower extremities (66%). The results of the chi-square test showed significant correlations between the specific task with the form of contact, the working process, the day and season. Results of the odds ratio determination showed an increased risk of suffering serious injury for men in the first half of the year and half of the day due to loss of control over the machine during agricultural harvesting work.