Background The problems and risks are diverse in farming, which threaten safety and security on farms. Currently, there is little information how farm safety and security management is integrated into management on farms. The objective in this PhD study was to increase the understanding of systematic safety and security risk management applied to farms. Special attention was paid to the usability of risk management, the effectiveness of safety and security risk management, and the sustainability management on farms. Farm business security risks are risks, which threat the business continuity and sustainability on farms. These farm security risks include food production safety risks like human and animal diseases, farm economic crisis, water pollution and eutrophication caused by farming, asset risks like fire accidents, water and energy interruptions and farmers‘ serious occupational health problems all have exacerbated the special importance of risk management on farms. More information is needed on farm business continuity and supporting farms in systematic risk management as a holistic and practical manner. This dissertation presents new tools and applications for systematic risk management on farms.
Methods The study was a mixed method research. Systematic review of the literature, two surveys and case studies were conducted to identify safety and security risk management approaches in agriculture. Risk management aspects of a national health and safety program were evaluated, and farm-level tools were developed to improve safety and security management on farms.
Results As a result of the study new implication describing the farm manager’s various tasks and the farm safety and security risk management approach is presented. The results point out the need for systematic risk management approach in farm safety management. The findings indicate that safety risks were connected to other management risks on farms. Injury risk were significantly connected to animal (vs. crop) production, larger farm size (field and herd size), dependence on one person, physical work strain, perceived fire risk, and infrastructural problems on farms. Regular monitoring of safety and security risks was protective against injury incidents. A contextual tool for preliminary farm risk identification, a Farm Risk Map, was constructed and tested.
Conclusions Mitigation of farm safety and security risks requires specific management tools and occupational skills applied to agriculture. Risk management tools to assist farmers are not currently in a sufficient level compared to safety and security risks faced by farmers. The Farm Risk Map helped the case farmers to visualise and identify major risk sources affecting the farm operations. It can be used to define the risk context on farms. Additional tools to assist managing and controlling major farm risk areas were presented. Improved knowledge management skills and holistic risk management tools are needed on farm risk management in the future.
- risk management
- safety and security
- Farm Risk Map
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