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A study on improving the tractor ROPS and seatbelt use of Korean farmers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011  1111055.(doi:10.13031/2013.37401)
Authors:   H J Kim, Sun Choi, K W Kim, J S Kim, J O Kim, Y Y Kim, H K Kim, S H Kwon
Keywords:   Keywords : Tractor safety, ROPS, Seatbelt, Overturning accident, Seatbelt comfort

In Korea, as farmers are aging, the safety and comfort of agricultural machinery have become more important than the past. However, as there is little study for improving the safety and comfort of the agricultural machinery, the studies in this area become urgent. According to the recent survey, the major cause of fatality of farmers is tractor related accident. It was reported that over 70% of the tractor accident was overturning on the road or in in agricultural fields. To avoid such accidents, there are currently two protective equipment for the tractor, i.e., ROPS(Roll Over Protective Structure) and seatbelt. Despite of these safety equipment, many farmers even don't know how to use them. This study was performed to improve the utilization of the ROPS and seatbelt of tractors in Korea. We surveyed the ROPS and seatbelt use and the tractor related accidents by personal interviews with 141 farmers. And comfort test in using tractor seatbelts with body pressure measurement system has been conducted with 4 different subjects. The survey showed that 79.3% of the tractor accidents was overturning accidents. When the tractor had a ROPS and seatbelt, there were no serious injuries. With these results, it was concluded that ROPS and seatbelt are very effective devices for protecting drivers in overturning accidents. But, when farmers didn't wear seatbelt, there were some fatal injuries. This result showed the importance of the seatbelt use in operating and driving tractors. Therefore, we tested the comfort of the tractor seatbelt with 4 different subjects operating the pedals in a tractor seat simulator and in the tractor being driven on various road surfaces. Both tests showed that retractable seatbelt were more comfortable than non-retractable seatbelt. According to this study, the utilization of the ROPS and seatbelt should be promoted more. And, the non-retractable seatbelt needs to be replaced by retractable seatbelt.

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