Iowa ranks first in the country for tractor rollover deaths, and a rebate being offered through a University of Iowa program aims to make farmers safer. Brandi Janssen is director of the U-I-based I-CASH, the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. A properly maintained tractor can be a workhorse across several generations of farmers, and Janssen says the older machines are more deadly in rollovers as they lack ROPS, or rollover protection systems.
A ROPS is a metal bar or frame that attaches to the tractor. In a rollover, the ROPS — when used with a seatbelt — prevents the operator from being crushed under the machine. Sadly, many Iowa farmers don’t shell out the money to retrofit their tractors.
Adding ROPS to a tractor may cost between 15- and 25-hundred dollars, but Janssen says a rebate is being offered that erases a large portion of that cost.
There is a waiting list for the ROPS rebates in Iowa, but Janssen encourages every owner of large farm equipment to sign up, as it’s a life-safer.
This is National Farm Safety week. For information about the rebate, visit www.ropsr4u.org or call (877) 767-7748.