Prevalence of ROPS-Equipped Tractors and Farm/Farmer Characteristics

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Bean, Thomas;
  • Crawford, John M.;
  • Wilkins III, J.R.;
  • Byers, Mark V.;
  • Engelhardt, Holly L.


Data were collected on tractor safety status and the prevalence of ROPS as part of the Ohio Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Program (FFHHSP) “walk-around” hazard assessments of cash grain farms in central Ohio. Principal operator (PO) characteristics thought a priori to have a possible association with ROPS utilization included age, education, percent time spent farming, total years in agriculture, and previous training in occupational injury prevention. Farm characteristics of interest were farm size, acres of cropland in use, sales value during the past 12 months, and current number of farm workers. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted to evaluate potential associations between these factors and ROPS utilization patterns. Of 1,044 tractors encountered on 306 farms, 359 (34.4%) were equipped with ROPS, 29 (9.5%) had nothing but ROPS-equipped tractors, and 117 (38.2%) did not have any ROPS-equipped tractors. The absence/presence of ROPS-equipped tractors in our sample was found to vary by several factors, and over a wide range. Results of univariable logistic regression analyses (excluding the relatively small number of tractors manufactured after 1985) indicated that younger POs with at least a high school education who spent more than half their time working in agriculture, employed three or more workers, had 500 or more acres of total farm land and cropland in use, and had a 12-month sales value exceeding $250,000 were more likely to have at least one ROPS-equipped tractor on their farms. However, time spent farming, number of workers, and the 12-month sales value were not strongly predictive in multivariable models. Although more than 20% of the POs in our sample reported having had training in occupational injury prevention, this factor had essentially no value in predicting the absence/presence of ROPS-equipped tractors on their farms. The results of this study illustrate the need for interventions to encourage ROPS retrofitting that target POs with less education and who work on smaller and less productive farms. However, the low overall ROPS utilization rates suggest that all farmers could benefit from intervention efforts.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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