Tractor Safety: Rollovers

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Tractor Safety: Rollovers

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno, California Farm Tractor Accident Lawyer. Every year, thousands of American farmers are hurt in tractor-related accidents. Unfortunately, an accident like a tractor rollover can leave a farmer with injuries that make it impossible for them to continue their work. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that there are nearly 250 fatal tractor rollover accidents every year in the United States.

Rollover Protection Structures

One important safety feature designed to protect tractor operators is the installation of a Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS). ROPS create a protective barrier with roll bars and roll cages to limit the potential of the operator being crushed in the event of a rollover. ROPS are available in two post, four post, and enclosed cab configurations. They are typically available from the manufacturer but can also be purchased by aftermarket retailers. Together with a seat belt, ROPS can greatly reduce the risk of a fatality in an accident.

Late Model Tractors

Many tractors manufactured prior to the mid-1980s did not come equipped with ROPS from the factory. Because farm tractors often see over 40 years of service in their lifetimes, it is not uncommon to find late model tractors without ROPS still being used in the field. Fortunately, many well-known manufactures offer low cost retrofitting kits to improve the safety of older tractors.

Safety First

If you are considering purchasing a ROPS for your tractor, here are some convincing reasons:

  • 10% of tractor operators overturn a tractor in his or her lifetime.
  • Tractors in the states with the highest incidence of fatal rollovers have the lowest percentage of tractors with ROPS.
  • The one-time installation of a ROPS will protect anyone who drives the tractor for the life of the vehicle.
  • ROPS and seat belt usage is estimated to be 99% effective in avoiding death or serious injury in the event of an accident.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires ROPS for all agricultural tractors over 20 hp that were built after October 25, 1976 operated by a hired employee.
  • ROPS limit the degree of rollover and reduce damage to the tractor.
  • A ROPS with an enclosed cab will also protect the operator from adverse weather conditions, low hanging vegetation, and with the seat belt dramatically reduces the risk of ejection

Related Articles by California Farm Tractor Accident Lawyer Ed Smith

California Farm Tractor Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno Farm Tractor Accident Lawyer. If you or someone you love has been injured in a farm tractor accident, I can help. Please call me today at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly advice with no obligation. I can also be reached online here.

I have been serving the Fresno and Northern California community for over thirty years as an injury lawyer. See some of my past Verdicts and Settlements.

My valued clients have left many reviews on their experiences working with me; you can find their comments on Avvo, Yelp and Google.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum. This group is reserved for trial lawyers who have achieved million-dollar case verdicts and settlements for their clients.

For additional information on farming accident cases and a variety of personal injury claims, visit my website, AutoAccident.com.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Little Accident by Михаило ЈовановићCC BY-SA 4.0
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