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Retrofitting roll bars and seatbelts for old U.S. tractors to prevent farm deaths: now or never (editorial).
J Agric Saf Health 2010 Jan; 16(1):3-4
In the United States, farm worker deaths from tractor rollovers represent failures in prevention, in that we have all of the knowledge needed and a viable intervention has long existed. In 1985, U.S. tractor manufacturers widely agreed to implement a new ASAE (now ASABE) standard (ASAE, 1985) for tractor rollover protective structures (which this editorial will refer to as roll bars) to apply henceforth to virtually all new tractors to be sold in the U.S. Unfortunately, there was no concomitant agreement or regulation applied to existing tractors, in use and/or when offered for resale. While the intention of having foregone retrofitting older tractors may have seemed, at the time, worthwhile to reduce cost burdens on lower-income farmers, the result has been tragic: a vexing persistence of tractor rollover deaths in the U.S. An average of over 100 farmers and farm workers per year (the majority of them middle-aged or elderly, often farming small-scale, marginal operations in counties with lower socioeconomic status) died this way from 1992 through 2005 (with many additional deaths among children using such equipment or riding along). This tragedy is doubly compelling because these deaths are almost entirely preventable by the use of a properly designed and installed roll bar and seatbelt.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Injury-prevention; Safety-engineering; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Safety-belts; Author Keywords: Farm safety; rollovers; ROPS; Roll bars; Seatbelts
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division