COUNTY AG NEWS
The occupational death rate on farms is nearly 800 percent greater than in all other industries combined. The leading cause of farm deaths is tractor rollovers. These incidents cost U.S. agriculture $115 million each year. Operators involved who survive these incidents lose an average of 70 workdays, and the cost of medical care, lost time, and property damage is at least $900,000 per event.
“A properly designed and installed Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) used in combination with a seatbelt is almost 100 percent effective at preventing injury and death to the operator if a rollover happens,” said John Shutske, University of Wisconsin-Extension Bio Systems specialist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Still, about half of tractors on farms do not have rollover protection.”
To address this issue, and encourage and incentivize agricultural producers to add this important safety device, a variety of public and private organizations have come together to provide significant rebates to assist with the costs of installing a ROPS on unprotected tractors.
One of the key partners with the National ROPS Rebate Program in Wisconsin is the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, an important source of research and technical information on agricultural health issues and child safety.