Of all agricultural work-related hazards, tractors are involved in the highest number of fatalities with tractor overturns accounting for 130 deaths each year. A very high percentage of these incidents could have been prevented if the operator was wearing a standard seat belt and the tractor was equipped with a roll-bar or Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS).
Tractor incidents are usually the result of several factors, including equipment, environment, and the operator. Farmers and ranchers work on many different types of terrain and in various conditions. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of a tractor related incident.
- Ensure your tractors have ROPS or cab.
- Make sure collapsible ROPS are in the upright position for operation.
- Wear a seatbelt, UNLESS the tractor does not have a ROPS.
- Turn the tractor off before performing maintenance or repairs.
- Learn how to prevent sideways and rear overturns.
- Make sure other workers or family members are not near the tractor during operation.
- Be familiar with terrain and different soil types.
- Use caution when operating tractors in flooded areas or around ponds and creeks.
- Remain aware of weather conditions and how the ground can change.
Farmers and ranchers often work alone. Make sure to protect yourself by implementing a strong communication plan. These steps cost you nothing, but can save your life.
- Inform other co-workers or family members where you are working and when you expect to return.
- Have a cell phone or some way of contact in case of an emergency.
- Have an emergency plan. Download Here.
Written by: Gunner Arms, 2022 CASH Intern