Since the introduction of mandatory rollover protective structures on tractors in Australia in 1982, there has been a 72 per cent reduction in fatalities from tractor rollovers, according to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
However, tractors continue to be one of the most common causes of death and injuries on farms and the regulator said this has been highlighted in recent weeks by a spate of incidents including:
The person with management or control of a tractor at a workplace must ensure that the tractor is not used unless it is securely fitted with a roll-over-protective structure, according to WHS Regulation S216.
As such, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said it is important to remember that tractor operators are most at risk of injury when:
To provide the highest level of protection to people operating tractors, the regulator said to fit a compliant rollover protection structure or upgrade machinery to a vehicle fitted with rollover protection structure.
Changes in rollover protection structure design make them available in many configurations, including fold-down for working in orchards.
The regulator said there are a number of ways to work safely with tractors: