Prevalence of ROPS-equipped tractors on minority operated farms in the US


  • John R. Myers MS

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia
    • 1095 Willowdale Road, MS-1808, Morgantown, WV 26505.
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  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC, NIOSH.



Tractor overturns kill an average of 100 farmers and farm workers per year. Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) are a proven intervention, but are not on a sufficient number of tractors in the US to reduce these deaths. Little has been reported on ROPS use by racial minority farm operators.


Data from the NIOSH OISPA survey were used to assess ROPS prevalence rates from a random sample of racial minority farm operators for the year 2003, and ROPS prevalence rates from a random sample of all US farms for the year 2004.


ROPS prevalence rates on minority farming operations follow similar patterns to ROPS prevalence rates on all US farms. A low prevalence of ROPS on farms was associated with operators over the age of 65 years, farms with small acreages, and farms operated on a part-time basis. The race of the operator had little impact on ROPS prevalence rates.


Factors such as acreage, farm operator age, region of the US, and full- or part-time farming status influence ROPS prevalence rates on farms more than the race of the operator. Understanding how ROPS prevalence differs across these farm and farm operator characteristics has the potential to efficiently target areas for ROPS promotion programs across the US. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:408–418, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.