Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in Europe. The goal of the new SACURIMA COST network project is to find ways to develop safety culture, working conditions and risk management for farm work.
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) administers the new European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) network project “Safety Culture and Risk Management in Agriculture (SACURIMA)”. The kick-off meeting for the project was held in Brussels last spring. Luke was the main applicant for this COST Action and was also elected as the network grant manager.
The network project has been divided into five working groups. The themes of the working groups are the comparison of work safety legislation and programs in SACURIMA member countries; identifying the safety culture and risk management practices of agricultural entrepreneurs and workers; safety and integration of special working populations (young people, foreign labor, refugees, etc.) into the agricultural labor force; the development of indicators for the assessment and monitoring of occupational safety in the agricultural sector; and disseminating research results to stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Scientific Coordinator Jarkko Leppälä from Luke is happy to note that the interest in the SACURIMA project has exceeded expectations. Up to now, members from 30 European COST member countries and several observers from America, Australia and Asia have joined the Action. Each country may nominate two regular members and additional substitute members. The membership has exceeded 50 regular members and 20 substitute members, and the funding of the project increases as the numbers of participating countries and members increase. New members for the SACURIMA COST network are accepted by country coordinators during the first year, and then the new members will be elected in Management Committee meetings.
The first working meeting of the Management Committee was held last October in Zagreb and the next working meeting will be held next spring in Ireland. In addition, the network organizes workshops and trainings in the participating countries, grants scholarships for co-operation between researchers and experts from the Member States and disseminates information related to research findings in the topic area. The network also aims to establish new joint projects in the field.