Tractor overturns in Virginia kill more tractor operators than any other farm work-related accident. Though newer model tractors offer safety features not available on older models, farm equipment owners have an option to help prevent injury and loss. Owners can help protect themselves by installing a Rollover Protective Structure, or “ROPS,” to their tractor.
Nearly half of farming-related fatalities in Virginia annually are the result of tractor overturns. In almost every case, the tractor was not equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS), and in a few cases the operator was not wearing a seat belt with a ROPS-equipped tractor. There are no documented deaths of farm tractor operators who had a ROPS and were wearing their seat belt.
Because of the ROPS effectiveness and importance, Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance developed an incentive program to encourage its members to retrofit their older model farm tractors with an approved ROPS and seat belt. This year, the company has increased its incentive award to $400 per ROPS retrofit.
“A Rollover Protective Structure, or ROPS, when used in combination with a seat belt, is recognized by safety and industry experts as the most effective way to reduce the risk of death,” says Jimmy Maass, Safety Manager at Farm Bureau Insurance. “We are committed to helping our members minimize the hazards of farming through education and proactive programs such as this one.”
Virginia Farm Bureau members are eligible to apply for this incentive when they retrofit their farm tractor with an approved ROPS and seat belt designed and built by a ROPS manufacturer.
To qualify for this incentive, a farm tractor must:
- Be owned by a current Virginia Farm Bureau member
- Have available an approved retro-fitted rollover protective structure (ROPS) designed and fitted by a ROPS manufacturer for that tractor model and installed either by an authorized dealer or by the member following the manufacturer’s instructions
- Not have a ROPS at the time the member originally purchased it.
Members may obtain the proper forms and detailed program and process information by contacting their county Farm Bureau Insurance agent, or our Safety Department at 804/290-1379.