May 21, 2024

National Farm Safety Week and ROPS

National Farm Safety week is Sept. 18-23.

National Farm Safety week is September 18-23, 2023, Monday the 18th is Equipment and Rural Roadway Safety Day. Iowa ranks first in tractor overturn fatalities in the nation, according to information released by the National ROPS Rebate Program in early September.

A Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) is a metal bar or frame that attaches to a tractor and protects the operator. In the event of an overturn or rollover, the ROPS, when used with a seatbelt, prevents the operator from being crushed under the tractor. Commonly ROPS are referred to as “rollbars” but they also come in the form of a frame or may be integrated into a cab. ROPS were not required to be installed on tractors until 1985, so there are many farms working with tractors that do not have this important safety feature.

Investing in retrofitting older tractors with ROPS protects farmers and rural communities from a leading cause of agricultural death and injury. Adding a bar is also a sustainable choice to keep equipment operating safely for a longer period of time.

The National ROPS Rebate Program helps farmers receive funding to cover part of the cost to add a ROPS to their tractor. Currently, there are more farmers interested than funding available and there are long waiting lists in most states. There is no designated state funding in Iowa, though there is limited funding each year from Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) to retrofit tractors. States with dedicated funding include Minnesota and New York.

For questions or more info contact Dr. Brandi Janssen brandi-janssen@uiowa.edu

For more information about the National ROPS Rebate Program visit ROPS4u.org