ACCIDENTS AT WORK AND VOCATIONAL DISEASES OF FARMERS - CHANGING TRENDS
Since the end of the Second World War individual farmers in Poland have never been covered by the state work protection system. The results of surveys conducted among farmers indicate that they would not be ready to accept such a system. Actions designed to prevent accidents during work on family farms have been entrusted to the Farmers' Social Insurance Fund (KRUS). In accordance with the law on the social insurance of farmers of December 20, 1990 (Journal of Laws No. 7 of 1998, item 27, which includes the introduced amendments) KRUS carries out in an organized and systematic manner prophylactic activities that cover mainly the popularisation among the insured of knowledge about hazards to health and life encountered during work in agriculture, and information about the work safety principles. Efforts to prevent accidents yield tangible results. In 1993-2005 the number of annually reported accidents at work fell more than two times despite the fact that the number of farmers insured by KRUS has been growing steadily in recent years. Although the number of accidents during work in agriculture has been diminishing steadily the level of work safety and hygiene in individually run farms is far from satisfactory. The share of individual farming in the total number of accidents reaches 25% and fatal accident account for a third of all accidents at work. Such a large number of accidents has been recorded in the case of farmers insured by KRUS and they account for approximately 12% of all the working people. Thus, the frequency of accidents among farmers is still more than two times greater than in other sectors of the national economy.
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