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NIOSH protecting workers in agriculture - preventing tractor overturn injuries: the New York ROPS retrofit social marketing intervention.

NIOSH 2008 Jul; :1-2
The Challenge: About one-third of fatalities in the agricultural sector result from tractor overturns, yet rollbars on tractors can minimize and prevent overturn injuries. Rollbars (also called Roll-over Protective Structures or rops) have been standard on tractors manufactured in the U.S. since 1985, but many older tractors without rops are still being used daily. Cost and cultural factors present barriers to retrofitting these older tractors. Impact: In the six months following the NIOSH-funded Northeast Center for Agricultural and Occupational Health's (NEC) social marketing intervention, tractor dealers in the 5 targeted counties sold approximately ten times more rollbars than in the six months prior to the intervention. They also sold roughly eight times as many retrofits as dealers in comparison counties. 40% of farmers who received rebates, however, bought their rollbars directly from the manufacturer, making the dealer numbers a conservative estimate of the intervention's impact. Approach: Researchers at NEC studied risk perceptions, barriers, and motivating factors to tractor retrofitting among farmers in New York State. The results guided a social marketing campaign that was rigorously evaluated by implementing different levels of intervention efforts around New York and Pennsylvania and then comparing retrofit sales across different campaign regions. Results: NEC's campaign included a hotline to make retrofitting more convenient and multimedia communications that emphasized advantages of retrofitting. Farmers were offered a 70% rebate on the cost of the rollbar, funded by the New York State Legislature. In the first year, more than 1000 farmers expressed interest, 259 completed the retrofit/rebate process, 80 additional rebates were designated and another 404 were being processed pending additional funding.
Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Engineering-controls; Control-technology
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, New York
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division