Veteran Advisor
Posts: 939
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Trump Upsets Tractor Safety?



"By Jenny Hopkinson | 07/11/2017 10:00 AM EDT
With help from Maggie Severns and Helena Bottemiller Evich
WHAT TRUMP'S BUDGET MEANS FOR TRACTOR SAFETY: Amid all the hoopla over President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget plan, which called for major cuts to a host of agriculture and other rural programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got little attention. But a little-known program aimed at preventing tractor deaths is under threat.
Trump's budget would zero out the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health extramural funding, a bucket of money that includes what's known as the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Program. The institute researches and aims to prevent tractor accidents - the No. 1 cause of injury and death on farms.
"It would be devastating," said Julie Sorensen, director of the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety in New York, where state leaders launched a creative effort to try to combat tractor rollover deaths back in 2006. There, with the help of NIOSH funding, the state gives farmers rebates to help them defray the costs of rollover protection systems (ROPS), also known as rollbars, for their tractors.
Trump's proposed elimination of NIOSH extramural funding came just as researchers, including Sorensen, and the National Tractor Safety Coalition, introduced the National ROPS Rebate Program, a new effort based on NIOSH-funded research. The site, supported by NIOSH, helps connect farmers to state and private funding for ROPS. It expanded nationally two weeks ago and it's already been flooded with requests (you can apply here ). Farmers can get up to 70 percent of the cost defrayed by applying for a rebate (the cost of a system can range anywhere from $140 to $6,000, the site says, but the average program participants pays about $391).
"If that funding is terminated as they're proposing in 2018, then all the work we've done to build these programs is for naught," Sorensen tells MA. New York and other states have been handing out ROPS rebates for years with great success, she said. "We've had farmers call back and say they did have a rollover or a close call and they survived."
Farming is dangerous: It's not widely recognized, but farming is a relatively dangerous profession. As Pro Ag alum Ian Kullgren recently wrote for The Agenda: "Farmers are nearly twice as likely to die on the job as police officers are, five times as likely as firefighters, and 73 times as likely as Wall Street bankers."
Seven states have ROPS rebate programs right now: The list includes New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, but only New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts have state funding for their programs (the others are donation based).
More states on tap?: Researchers hope other states will begin programs, but first they're hoping to survive the federal budget cycle ..."




  • In 2015, 401 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury, resulting in a fatality rate of 19.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. Transportation incidents, which include tractor overturns were the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers.
  • The most effective way to prevent tractor overturn deaths is the use of a Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS). In 2012, 59% of tractors used on farms in the US were equipped with ROPS. If ROPS were placed on all tractors used on US farms manufactured since the mid-1960’s, the prevalence of ROPS-equipped tractors could be increased to over 80%.
  • On average, 113 youth less than 20 years of age die annually from farm-related injuries (1995 -2002), with most of these deaths occurring to youth 16-19 years of age (34%).
  • Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth, 23% percent involved machinery (including tractors), 19% involved motor vehicles (including ATVs), and 16% were due to drowning."

"The National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative reports that tractors cause about 130 deaths annually, or half of all farm worker fatalities."


44% of 130 is 59.  What is the value of adding ROPS to prevent 59 deaths a year?  Who is dying?  Based on popular news reports (not scientific) it's us all geezer mowing road ditches.  


I hate to bring this up, but I wonder if the people writing this report ever had a drink and drove home afterward?  ABout 88,000 people a year die from alcohol related causes.  In 2014, 9967 traffic deaths were due to alcohol.  We'll make public news and fire a pilot who drinks and flies.  We'll spend lots of money to let old men mow road ditches without dying.  But we won't stop alcohol related traffic deaths.


Give me a break!