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CoP Finland: Navigating challenges and cultivating change in farm occupational safety management and attitudes

Jun 19, 2024 | News

On 15 March 2024, the second workshop meeting of the Finnish Community of Practice (FinCoP) of the Safehabitus project took place, and brought together 20 members representing various organisations, including the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), the Agricultural Entrepreneur’s Holiday Unit, ProAgria, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

This diverse composition allowed the FinCoP group to gather different perspectives and utilise them to formulate practical solutions, especially for farmers. The main theme of the workshop was farm occupational safety management and attitudes.

During the workshop, two experts and one farmer provided complementary insights.

Elina Vehviläinen-Liikka, farming expert an entrepreneur, noted that the importance of occupational safety on farms is not underestimated, but it may be neglected due to external factors such as limited workforce, faulty machinery and equipment, fatigue, stress, and financial pressure. She sees preparation and practicing safety behaviour, as well as the use of the various support tools and networks available to farmers to face challenges, as beneficial for farm safety improvement.

Petri Koivisto, an organisational expert, expressed the need for business management to encompasses strategic management, operational management, and production processes. He advised against the continuous urgency and relentless pursuit of productivity, as this approach prevents the recognition of occupational risks.

Hanna-Liisa Nousiainen, a farmer, pinpointed the need to integrate a culture of safety in the farm’s everyday life, before, the parti cipants shared perspectives on farm attitudes towards occupational safety, as well as characteristics of a safe farm, and proposals for improving occupational safety.
FinCoP continues intensive work over the farm safety themes relevant for the Finnish dairy sector. The next FinCoP will focus on the best practices and challenges at farmers’ holiday and stand-in scheme.