How would you like to buy a life insurance policy that does not have a monthly premium? Better yet, there is almost no chance that you will be killed while the policy is in effect!
What kind of insurance policy can do that? It is a roll-over protective structure (ROPS) and safety belt for your tractor.
Tractor overturns remain the leading cause of death from farm work in Tennessee, claiming almost 20 lives each year. Victims of these incidents do not intend to Rip their tractors, but overturns usually occur too quickly for a person to jump from the tractor and avoid serious injury or death. Even if your reactions are quick enough, the fenders, controls, hydraulic hoses and other obstacles will prevent a clear jump.
The ROPS provides a crush-free zone around the operator. However, the operator must remain on the seat to be protected. The only way to be certain you will remain on the seat is to use the safety belt.
How effective is a ROPS and safety belt? Virtually 100 percent effective in preventing deaths from overturns. We do not know of a single agricultural fatality that resulted from a tractor overturn when both the ROPS and safety belt were in use. As a bonus, the ROPS limits many overturns to 90 degrees rather than a complete rollover, reducing damage to the tractor as well as protecting the operator.
Failure to use the safety belt with a ROPS is risky, however. There have been cases where operators who were not using the safety belt were thrown from the tractor and crushed by the ROPS that was intended to protect them.
Yes, adding a ROPS and safety belt to your tractor does cost several hundred dollars. But compare this to the cost of a serious injury and the resulting pain and lost production. Your ROPS and safety belt equipped tractor will also be legal under OSHA standards for operation by trained employees and the tractor will have a higher market value.
What is the best life insurance? If you are a tractor operator, the combined use of a ROPS and safety belt are your best bet.
Contact your tractor dealer to determine the availability of ROPS for your tractor. You will find there are lower prices and more ROPS models available than ever before, including fold-down models. Use only ROPS structures certified for your particular tractor. Don't bet your life on a homemade or other uncertified ROPS.
This news release was distributed by the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901. Publication date: December 1992.
Timothy G. Prather, Agricultural Safety Specialist, Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More