In 2002, the Kentucky Farm Tractor Overturn Survey was administered, in which 6,063 randomly selected farm operators responded to questions that addressed the presence and use of seatbelts in the event of a tractor overturn. Data were analyzed to determine the proportion of seatbelt presence and use on tractors that overturned differentiated by whether they were equipped or not equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS). In 537 overturns reported for which the ROPS status was known, 92 involved ROPS-equipped tractors, of which 60 had a functioning seatbelt, and 19 operators of these tractors used the seatbelt that was present during the overturn. However, of the 445 overturns of non-ROPS tractors, eight had a functioning seatbelt, and three of these operators wore the seatbelt. Two of the three operators that wore seatbelts on non-ROPS tractors suffered a permanent disability. In contrast, of the 19 operators who wore a seatbelt on ROPS-equipped tractors, 18 experienced no or minor injuries, and one required outpatient care. Seatbelts are known to save lives but are a secondary safety device to ROPS, for ROPS alone saves lives and is a necessary pre-condition for seatbelt presence and use.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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