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Roll-over Protective Structure Use and the Cost of Retrofitting Tractors in the United States, 1993

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 1(3): 185-197. (doi: 10.13031/2013.19463) @1995
Authors:   J. R. Myers, K. A. Snyder
Keywords:   Tractors, ROPS, Retrofitting, Cost effectiveness.

Agricultural tractors are the leading cause of occupational death in the agricultural production industry in the United States, with tractor overturns being the single most common event causing these deaths. Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) are the most effective intervention available at this time to prevent these deaths, but ROPS are not used universally by U.S. farmers. An analysis of tractor information from 12,913 randomly sampled farms indicated that, in 1993, over 4.8 million tractors were in use on U.S. farms, of which 2.98 million lacked ROPS. Farm tractors over 20 years of age were much less likely to have ROPS. The material cost of retrofitting ROPS on the tractors examined in the study was estimated at $937 per tractor, with a cost of $825,000 per life saved. An additional 1.68 million tractors needing ROPS were not covered in this cost analysis. Suggestions on possible programs to increase ROPS use on farm tractors are discussed.

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