Reminders for farm safety: Part One

With the rush to get into the fields and orchards this year, safety precautions can be overlooked.

So far this year, spring has proven to be quite challenging. With the rush to get crops planted, many times safety is not the first thing on your mind, but it should be a priority. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 280 deaths were caused by vehicular accidents on the farm in 2009 and almost 1 in 10 farms have tractor rollover incidents in the history of their farm. Many of these incidents or deaths could be avoided by installing Roll-over Protective Structures (ROPS) on your tractors.

ROPS are structures added to tractors that, in conjunction with a seat belt can help keep a farmer alive in the event of a rollover, and are approximately 98 percent effective. ROPS provide protection by either limiting the amount of rollover, or in the case of a complete roll, it keeps the operator safe by creating a protective space between the ground and the operator seat. In conjunction with the ROPS, the seat belt is integral because it keeps the driver from being thrown from the tractor. While many new machines come with both the ROPS and seat belt installed, they are available for most every size tractor. There are different mounting styles as well and include 2-post, 4-post, and cab style ROPS, depending on the tractor style and what it is being used for. Contact your local equipment dealer to see if a ROPS is available for your tractor or visit The Kentucky ROPS Guide .

Even with safety equipment incidents still happen. Keep an eye on your terrain and think ahead about how your tractor may react to hills and ditches. A few precautions can keep you alive for another successful season.

Related MSU Extension News article: Reminders for farm safety: Part Two

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