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Tractor rollovers are the most common farm accidents to result in serious injury or death. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, tractor rollovers cause 52 percent of all fatal farm accidents. Tractor rollovers can occur in so many different ways that no one can name them all. But regardless of how they happen, there is no doubt they occur and will continue to occur until the law of gravity is repealed. In many tractor rollovers, victims suffer serious crush injuries to the head, chest, and pelvis because they become pinned under the weight of the tractor.
To prevent serious injury and death that is associated with tractor rollovers, all off road riding power machinery should be equipped with rollover protection structures (ROPS) consisting of roll bars and seat belts. ROPS are designed to protect drivers in the event of tractor rollovers by taking the full impact of the machine when it rolls. Although ROPS cannot prevent tractor rollovers, they can protect the driver from serious injury or death. In fact, according to the National Ag Safety Database, the use of ROPS and a seat belt is estimated to be 99 percent effective in preventing death or serious injury in the event of tractor rollovers.
Roll bars and seat belts have been available for tractors since the mid-1950s. Installing ROPS can lessen the risk of serious injury during tractor rollovers. If tractor manufacturers had installed ROPS on their tractors from the 1950s or 60s as standard equipment, the appalling toll of lives taken each year in inevitable tractor rollovers would not occur. Despite the number of incidents resulting in deaths and the lack of ROPS on the equipment, no major tractor manufacturer has undertaken a product recall at least on zero-turning radius equipment (ZTR). A program has been announced by one lawn mower manufacturer to install ROPS on its ZTR lawn tractors without ROPS. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a tractor rollover due to defective farm equipment, contact the Locks Law Firm.
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