Rollover protective structures (ROPS) are an effective engineering control known to prevent tractor overturn deaths, the leading cause of occupational fatalities for farmers and farm workers in the U.S. However, the use of ROPS is known to vary greatly from farm to farm. A national sample of 11,458 farm operators from the 2004 Occupational Injury Surveillance of Production Agriculture (OISPA) survey was used to assess the association between the prevalence of ROPS and ten farm operator and farm demographic variables using logistic regression. The variable were: operator's age, operator's sex, operator's education, farm sales, full- or part-time farming, acreage, type of operation, number of hired workers, number of injuries, and region. All ten variables were found to have significant associations with the prevalence of non-ROPS tractors on farms in the univariate logistic regressions. For the multivariate model, all variables except for the sex of the farm operator remained significant. Farms with less than three adult injuries, no hired workers, less than 300 acres in size, a Midwest location, and a primary farm type of tobacco, fruit and nuts, dairy, or poultry and eggs all had adjusted odds ratios of 2 or greater. Increasing the prevalence of ROPS-equipped tractors is essential for reducing the leading cause of death on farms, tractor overturns. Economic factors play a major role in the prevalence and distribution of non-ROPS tractors on farms. The identified associations can be used to effectively target areas of the U.S. for ROPS promotion activities.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agriculture; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Equipment-design; Farmers; Mathematical-models; Protective-equipment; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-engineering; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Statistical-analysis;
Author Keywords: Odds ratios; Risk factors; ROPS; Tractors
John R. Myers, MSF, Health Statistician, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505