NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Risk analysis of tractor overturns on catfish farms.

Stephens WB; Ibendahl GA; Myers ML; Cole HP
J Agromedicine 2010 Oct; 15(4):405-411
Fatal and nonfatal injuries occur on catfish farms as a result of tractor overturns, but these injuries can be greatly mitigated when a tractor is equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seatbelt. This study analyzed the proportion of tractors on catfish farms in Mississippi not equipped with ROPS and the cost of retrofitting those tractors with a ROPS and seatbelt as compared to the expected benefits gained from adding the protection. To determine if farmers have the financial incentive to retrofit older tractors, a net present value framework was used because the expected benefits occur over a number of years. The ROPS retrofit is a one-time cost that occurs immediately, and thus the present value does not need to be calculated, i.e., time period 0. According to this study adding ROPS will provide a net benefit of $22,877 in the event of an overturn. When dealing with small farms (<125 acres) where an average tractor is used for approximately twice as many hours compared to an average tractor on large farms, the extra hours worked by a single tractor resulted in total benefits of retrofitting ROPS of $9.45 per year, whereas for large farms the net benefit is $4.70 (=125 acres). Given that the least expensive retrofit is $147, it would take 15.5 years of tractor use on the small farms for the expected benefits to outweigh the cost. Given the large range of costs that could occur due to an overturn, there could be a significant premium for not having ROPS protection. In other words, there likely is a smaller range of costs from an overturn with ROPS than without ROPS because ROPS reduces the more serious incidents.
Tractors; Accident-prevention; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Farmers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Aquatic-working-environment; Workers; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Agricultural-industry; Accidents; Traumatic-injuries; Author Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Incentive; Overturn; Risk; Rollover protective structure; ROPS; Safety; Tractor
Gregory A. lbendahl, PhD, Department of Agricultural Economics, P.O. Box 5187, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division