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The use of rollover protection on farm tractors in West Virginia.

Etherton J; Myers J
Advances in industrial ergonomics and safety II. Das B, Mital A, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor and Francis, 1990 Jun; 2:819-825
A survey of the use of rollover protective structures (ROPS) on farm tractors in West Virginia was conducted. A questionnaire was sent to a random selection of farmers in West Virginia in 1987 concerning the number of tractors in use with ROPS. Data on tractor related fatalities occurring in West Virginia and Ohio, for comparison, during the period 1980 to 1985 were retrieved from NIOSH's National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF) database and analyzed. A total of 689 completed questionnaires were returned. Farms in West Virginia had an average of 1.4 tractors. The average age of the tractors was 19.3 years (yr), and only 17.9% had ROPS. The newer tractors were more likely to have ROPS. Nineteen agricultural machine related fatalities were recorded for West Virginia in the NTOF dataset during the study period. Eight were related to tractors. Forty two agricultural machine related fatalities occurred in Ohio during the same period. Of these, 28 were tractor related. Six of the tractor related deaths in West Virginia and 20 in Ohio were due to overturns. The rate of tractor overturn fatalities per year was one in West Virginia and 3.3 in Ohio. The tractor overturn fatality rates in West Virginia and Ohio were estimated to be 5.1 and 3.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, respectively. These two rates translated into a relative risk of death from a tractor overturn in West Virginia of 1.6 compared to Ohio. The authors conclude that failure to use ROPS is an important risk factor for a fatal tractor overturn in West Virginia, a state where farm lands include significant rolling and steep terrain. They recommend that human factors research methods be utilized to encourage greater use of ROPS on tractors in West Virginia.
Agricultural-machinery; Safety-equipment; Risk-analysis; Agricultural-workers; Human-factors-engineering; Mortality-data; Accident-analysis; Occupational-accidents; Safety-measures
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Das B; Mital A
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Advances in industrial ergonomics and safety II. Proceedings of the Annual International Industrial Ergonomics and Safety Conference held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 10-13 June 1990. The Official Conference of the International Foundation for Industrial Ergonomics and Safety Research
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division