European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Alun Jones, Martina Jakob, John McNamara, with contributions from Dr Andrea Teutenberg.


Review of the future of agriculture and occupational safety and health (OSH)

Foresight on new and emerging risks in OSH

European Risk Observatory



Table of Contents
List of figures
Executive summary
A sector with serious occupational safety and health challenges
A sector in transition
Resulting changes and occupational safety and health outcomes
1 Introduction
2 Methodology
3 Scope of the report
4 The occupational safety and health situation in farming and forestry
5 Overview of occupational health issues
Section A. Identification of major future trends and changes in agriculture and forestry
6 Main trends affecting agriculture and forestry
6.1 Technological innovation through science and technology
6.2 Climate change and the environment
6.3 Food and energy demand (food security)
6.4 Trade and economy
6.5 Policy and people
Section B. Implications for the occupational safety and health of farmers, foresters and other workers
7 Health and safety implications of technological innovation through science and technology
7.1 Smart farming, smart forestry and OSH — general considerations
7.2 Smart farming and OSH improvements
7.3 OSH challenges from smart farming technologies
7.4 OSH challenges from traditional and emerging machinery use
8 Climate change and the environment — occupational safety and health
8.1 Extreme weather events and fires
8.2 Heat exposure
8.3 Exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation
8.4 Animal and insect-borne disease and invasion of predatory species
8.5 Exposure to dust and pesticides
8.6 Specific forestry related risks from climate change
8.7 Impact of climate change on mental health
9 Trade and Economy – Occupational safety and health considerations
9.1 Trade and OSH impacts
9.2 Farm economic trends and their impact on safety and health
10 Labour market trends and impacts on occupational safety and health
10.1 Temporary and/or seasonal workers ......

10.2 Migrant workers
10.3 Part-time nature of farming and forestry work, linked to a high degree of pluriactivity
10.4 Self-employed farmers
10.5 Farming is very much a family concern
10.6 Role of women in farming
10.7 Retirees and farmers over 65
10.8 Young workers
10.9 Long working hours and OSH impacts in the sector
10.10 Rural depopulation and OSH risks
10.11 Stress and psychosocial risks
Section C. Next steps and future actions
11 Conclusions
12 Recommendations for policy-makers
12.1 OSH policy level
12.2 EU health policy
12.3 EU research into safety and health in agriculture and forestry
12.4 EU agricultural policy — ensuring the social sustainability of farming
Annex 1: Keywords used to identify technological and organisational changes and OSH concepts in agriculture and forestry
Annex 2: Key OSH prevention resources in agriculture
Annex 3: List of experts consulted on the major trends and changes in agriculture
Annex 4: List of experts participating in the expert meeting on OSH in agriculture and forestry
Annex 5: Glossary
List of figures
Figure 1: The top eight killers in agriculture
Figure 2: Mechanised spraying operation
Figure 3: MSDs are prevalent in agriculture
Figure 4: Exposure to noise leads to hearing loss



© European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2020
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.