A tractor is an important piece of farm equipment, but it can also be dangerous. According to OSHA, most of the injuries and deaths that farmworkers sustain are due to tractor accidents.
An overturn is a particularly dangerous type of tractor accident in which the vehicle tips backward or flips over on its side. There are other tractor hazards as well.
What causes overturns?
Sometimes an overturn is the fault of an operator who drives the tractor in a way that is risky or irregular. This may occur because of negligence or because the operator lacks the necessary training. Sometimes the problem is that there are no safety devices or guards on the vehicle. The tractor may be in poor condition, or it may simply be old.
What measures can help make overturns less dangerous?
The law requires newer tractors to have seatbelts, though it does not require retrofitting with seatbelts for older models. Under the law, newer tractors also have to have a structure around the operator to create a protection zone around him or her in the event of an overturn. This is a roll-over protective structure, and while it may not prevent injury in a tractor overturn, it does significantly reduce the risk of a fatality.
What other tractor hazards are there?
Another type of tractor hazard is an accident resulting from the power take-off shaft. A rotating shaft could injure a worker if he or she comes in contact with it. Employers have a responsibility to keep a PTO guard in place to prevent accidents of this nature.
Another type of tractor hazard is a run over.