Agriculture has one of the highest occupational fatality rates of all industries in the United States (1). Tractors and other types of agricultural equipment account for a large proportion of these fatalities, and farm-tractor rollovers account for approximately 130 work-related deaths each year in the United States (2). Although rollover protective structures (ROPS) are effective in protecting tractor operators from fatal injuries during rollovers (3-5), most tractors in the United States are not equipped with ROPS (4-7). Beginning in 1985, tractor manufacturers in the United Sates agreed to sell only tractors with ROPS; however, many older tractors without ROPS remain in use. To determine the prevalence of the use of ROPS, beginning in 1992, the Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance (FFHHS) program * collected state-based data on tractor age and use of ROPS from selected states. As of August 1997, four states had completed collection and analysis of data on farm tractors. This report summarizes the results of that survey, which indicates that 80%-90% of tractors in use in the four states were manufactured before 1985 and that less than 40% are equipped with ROPS.

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Published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, v. 46, no. 36, p. 842-845.

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