Changes in reindeer herding work and their effect on occupational accidents

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Pekkarinen, Anneli (2012)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v65i4.18125
  • Subject: occupational safety, animal handling, slaughtering, feeding, accident statistics, Finland

Objectives. The aims of the study were to investigate the risk of occupational accidents in reindeerherding work in the long run, and to find out if the changes of work processes caused byjoining the European Union in 1995 can be seen in accident statistics.Study design and methods. The information on reindeer herders’ occupational accidents wasobtained from the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution. The development of accidents, reindeerherders and handled animals was studied in 1991-2004. The work phase and contact-mode of thecompensated accidents during the periods of 1991-1994 (N = 514) and 2001-2004 (N = 411) werecompared.Results. About 100 accidents of reindeer herders are compensated by the Farmers’ Social InsuranceInstitution annually. The number of accidents much better with the number of reindeerhandled than with that of insured reindeer herders. The changes in work processes could be seenas trends in the classification of accidents, but the differences were not statistically significant.In feeding tasks, both on the terrain and on farms, accidents had slightly increased, whereas inslaughtering they had decreased. Reindeer-caused accidents are now a bit more frequent thanearlier.Conclusions. Attention should now be paid to the use of personal protective equipment whendriving all-terrain vehicles and to safe working habits when in close contact with reindeer.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2006;65(4): 357-364.)Keywords: occupational safety, animal handling, slaughtering, feeding, accident statistics, Finland
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