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Work-related injuries and fatalities among farmers in South Korea

Authors

  • Soo-Jin Lee MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
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  • Inah Kim MD, MPH, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
    • Research Professor, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, 250 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-750, South Korea.
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  • Hyunchul Ryou MD, MPH,

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Wonjin Green Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
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  • Kyung-Suk Lee PhD,

    1. Agricultural Safety Engineering Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, South Korea
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  • Young-Jun Kwon MD, PhD

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hallym University Hankang Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
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  • Disclosure Statement: No, we have no relationship/condition/circumstances that present a potential conflict of interest.

Abstract

Background

Agricultural injuries are increasing in South Korea according to its workforce's reduced size and increased age. Available data are insufficient to exactly understand present situation. This study evaluated the patterns and characteristics of agricultural injury and assessed the injury rates.

Methods

We analyzed the entry and compensation data compiled in 2005 by the Safety Aid System of Farm Workers, South Korea's government insurance for agricultural injury. We examined the general characteristics, rates, and mortality of agricultural injury.

Results

There were 11,931 compensated events, including 219 compensated deaths. Farm injuries occurred most frequently in October, and most injuries were unintentional. The incidence and fatality rates were 16.67 per 1,000 person-years and 30.59 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Most number of agricultural injuries occurred in October. The most common cause of deaths was accidents caused by machinery use (35.64%) for males and other transport accidents (23.53%) for females, while the most common cause of injuries for females was falls (45.39%). Incidence and mortality rate of agricultural injuries were higher in elders.

Conclusions

Although injury rates may have been underestimated owing to data limitations, we are confident that South Korea's rate is higher than those seen in other countries or occupations. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:76–83, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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