Machinery-Related Perceived Risks and Safety Attitudes in Senior Swedish Farmers

J Agromedicine. 2018;23(1):78-91. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2017.1384420.


Objectives: To perform an ergonomic analysis of work and machinery-related risks in a group of Swedish older farmers, investigating farmers' attitudes and perceptions about: 1) health status and work motivation, 2) physical and cognitive workload and difficulties in the interaction with machinery and technological innovations, and 3) risks and safety practices.

Methods: Nine Swedish male farmers aged 65+ were administered a semi-structured interview and a questionnaire.

Results: Participants perceived themselves as being in good health and considered farming as a good proxy of their health status. They reported an increased physical workload but did not describe any cognitive workload. Technology was reported to have low usability, and thus its benefits cannot be fully exploited. Older farmers acknowledged the existence of "new risks" related to the aging process and mainly referred to the common sense and previous experience as the best safety practices.

Conclusion: Multilevel interventions focused on the capabilities and limits of the older farmers should be developed, involving both training activities and design solutions for the machinery that can support older farmers' health and safety.

Keywords: Aging farmer; agricultural machinery safety; ergonomics; mixed method research; technology acceptance.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Agriculture / instrumentation*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Farmers / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Perception
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Workload