Gender division of farm work and occupational injuries

Janne P. Karttunen, Risto H. Rautiainen, Elisabeth Quendler

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

1 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown that males are at greater risk of agricultural injuries than females. We investigated if gender division of farm work helps explain this risk difference in the self-employed Finnish farming population. We used insurance claims data and postal survey data charting the relative division of farm work between male and female farmers. Over the five-year study period (2009 to 2013), the average number of farmers was 75,893 (67% males and 33% females). A total of 22,648 occupational injuries (77% males and 23% females) were compensated during that time. Males had significantly higher rates of any, minor, serious, and recurrent injuries compared to females. Altogether, 319 usable responses were received in the postal survey (13% response rate). Both farm work time and occupational injuries differed by gender. Crop production, construction, forestry, and machinery contracting work were male-dominated, whereas females took the main responsibility for domestic and caretaking work. On livestock farms, animal husbandry was divided quite evenly between males and females (56% and 44% contributions, respectively). Animal husbandry-related injuries were distributed similarly (58% males and 42% females), but all other types of injuries occurred mostly to males. These results suggest that the risk of injuries is also nearly equal, given equal work time. Therefore, gender is an indicator of different work exposures in farming, rather than a risk factor for injury. Better understanding of the division of work and the corresponding risk of injuries can help in the design of interventions for males and females in agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
Specialist publicationJournal of agricultural safety and health
StatePublished - 2019


  • Agriculture
  • Claim
  • Exposure
  • Farmer
  • Gender
  • Insurance
  • Occupational injury
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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