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Abstract

A telephone survey was conducted of 919 farms from three shires in the sheep/wheat belt of New South Wales. Data from the cohort study spanning 18 months measured the incidence and profile of farm work related injury, risk factors and the range of costs associated with injury occurrence. On average. 22.6 per cent of farm businesses reported one or more injuries per year, while 8.3 per cent reported one or more serious injuries per year. Seven categories of injury were identified as significant problem areas. These were manual handling, eye, motorcycle-related, sheep-related, cattle-related, tractor-related and horse-related injuries. The costs associated with injury occurrence that were measured included medical treatment, transport for treatment, replacement labour, damage to plant and production losses. The average cost of an injury was around $1000, while the average cost of a serious injury was around $2500. The maximum estimated cost exceeded $26,000 for one particular injury. Approximately half of the average costs were accounted for by medical treatment, and approximately one-third of the average costs were accounted for by onfarm production losses, replacement labour costs and repairs to damaged equipment.

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