By Pam Tinc, Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
Tractor overturns are the most frequent cause of death on U.S. farms. These deaths are tragic given the fact that ROPS are 99% effective in preventing overturn deaths and yet 40% of US tractors in use today lack this vital protection. With the recent launch of the National ROPS Rebate Program (N.R.R.P. www.ROPSR4U.com) and hotline that assists farmers with the installation of ROPS, these deaths are inexcusable. The aim of the N.R.R.P. is to reduce farmers’ barriers to installing rollover protection, or ROPS, on their tractors with an ultimate goal of reducing unnecessary and tragic overturn fatalities. Unfortunately, more than 470 farmers in 37 states are currently on a waitlist for ROPS rebates. In particular, ROPS rebates are much sought-after in states such as Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Missouri, and Georgia. Together, these states make up approximately half of the current waitlist, and farmers in these states are at considerably higher risk for tractor overturns, demonstrating the significant need for state-based ROPS rebate funding sources.
To date, more than 2,500 tractors have been retrofitted in states with existing Programs. Initially launched in 2006, the New York ROPS program, which is the longest running ROPS program and has saved approximately 26 lives and saved over $9 million in associated injury and fatality costs-which means for every $1.50 in ROPS rebates, $9 dollars have been saved. Unfortunately, our work is not done. As mentioned previously, the participant waitlist for ROPS in other states is nearing 500 individuals and is growing daily.
In summary, we urge State Departments of Agriculture to work with farm advocacy and industry groups to identify ways to assist farmers in their community’s with ROPS rebate funds.
"I am very happy to have it on my tractor and would not have been able to get one
without your program. Thank you."
Brian Rohde, Dublin, NH
"Thank you so much for this rebate program for tractor rollbars. I’m sure it will save
many lives and prevent many injuries.”
Joe Priddy, Russell, PA