Statistics and Epidemiology of Tractor Fatalities - A Historical Perspective

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Hard, David L.;
  • Myers, John;
  • Morton, Linda;
  • Casini, Virgil J.;
  • Cianfrocco, Rosemary;
  • Fields, Judy;
  • Snyder, Karl A.


Farm tractors have historically been identified as the leading source of work-related farming deaths in the U.S. While data from the National Safety Council show that tractor-related deaths and fatality rates have decreased since 1969, current surveillance data indicate that an average of 218 farmers and farmworkers die annually from tractor-related injuries. Of these deaths, approximately 120 are associated with tractor overturns. Most of these deaths occur to tractor operators 65 years of age and older. Roll-over Protective Structures (ROPS) have been identified as the single best method of preventing tractor overturn-related deaths, yet only 38% of all tractors used on farms in the U.S. were equipped with ROPS in 1993. A major issue associated with increasing the use of ROPS on farm tractors is the cost of retrofitting ROPS on older tractors. The average cost to retrofit tractors with ROPS in the U.S. was estimated at $937, and a cost of at least $4 billion nationally in 1993.

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