Use of rollover protective structures - Iowa, Kentucky, New York, and Ohio, 1992-1997.
In an effort to determine the prevalence of the use of rollover protective structures (ROPS), beginning in 1992, the Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance (FFHHS) program collected state based data on tractor age and use of ROPS from selected states. Four states, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, and Ohio, as of August 1997, had completed the collection and analysis of the data on farm tractors. The results of that survey are summarized here, indicating that 80 to 90% of the tractors in use in these four states were manufactured prior to 1985 and that less than 40% were equipped with ROPS. ROPS data were collected through a combination of telephone interviews and/or on farm observational walk throughs. All farms in the respective geographic study areas were included in the Iowa (344 farms, 1,128 tractors) and New York (580 farms, 2,513 tractors) samplings, only farms operated by farmers over 55 years of age were included in Kentucky (149 farms, 282 tractors), and only cash grain farms were studied in Ohio (315 farms, 919 tractors). The proportions of tractors with ROPS varied inversely with the age of the tractors, and the numbers of older tractors in use at the time of the survey were substantial. The percentage of tractors equipped with ROPS was greatest in Iowa (39.5), followed by New York (38.6%), Ohio (34.3%), and Kentucky (26.9%). For those tractors manufactured during 1955 through 1964, which was 15% of the total, less than 5% were equipped with ROPS. Of the 13% of the tractors which had been manufactured prior to 1995, less than 1% had ROPS. In Iowa a total of 45 farmers reported having purchased 63 tractors with a mean age of 18 years in the year 1994. Of these newly purchased tractors, 40% did not have ROPS. An editorial note discussed the number of tractors used on farms which are equipped with ROPS, efforts to encourage manufacturers to install ROPS on new tractors, efforts to encourage retrofitting older tractors with ROPS, and efforts by OSHA and NIOSH to promote ROPS use.