ABSTRACT: The characteristics and costs of disability pensions in Finnish farmers were investigated. The data included a total of 4,088 permanent or temporary disability pensions of the self-employed Finnish farming population over a 5-year period (2008–2012), an annual rate of 1.04 new cases per 100 person-years (males 0.94/100 and females 1.24/100). These cases resulted in the loss of almost 6,800 person-years and 60.2 million Euros in pension costs in the 5-year period. Almost half of the outcomes (44.6%) were primarily related to diseases of the musculoskeletal system (MSDs). Other common outcomes were mental and behavioral disorders (17.5%), injuries (9.8%), diseases of the circulatory system (7.8%), and diseases of the nervous system (6.6%). Relative proportions of these outcomes and their costs were similar with few exceptions. Although farmers have high risk of acute traumatic injuries, they also have a high risk of chronic conditions that affect their work ability. Particularly MSDs were common primary reasons for disability pension among farmers in general and among female farmers in particular. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, improvements in the working environment and methods to reduce heavy or repetitive manual labor should be emphasized in vocational and extension education of farmers. Modern working conditions with meaningful and varied work tasks could enhance both physical and mental well-being of farmers and thus reinforce and extend their careers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health