Facts About Farm Safety

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farm safety

Photo by Wes Aldridge

According to the University of Illinois Extension, one out of 16 Illinois farm families will have a major farm accident this year. And even if you don’t live on a farm, you likely encounter farm equipment on the road during fall harvest season. Keep this information in mind about farm safety:

Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) Sign

  • The orange triangle you may see on tractors and harvesting equipment warns approaching vehicles to slow down.
  • The SMV sign isn’t just for tractors – any vehicle that cannot travel at more than 25 mph is required to have one.
  • A car traveling 55 mph when 400 feet behind a tractor traveling 15 mph only takes 7 seconds to reach the tractor. A collision at such high speeds can be dangerous.

Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS)

  • ROPS refers to a cab or frame that provides a safe environment for a tractor operator in the event of a rollover.
  • The ROPS must meet standards set forth by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
  • In addition to ROPS, the tractor operator must wear a seat belt to be fully protected.
  • 49 percent of farm tractors in use in Illinois do not have ROPS.

Sept. 16-22: National Farm Safety and Health Week takes place each year during the third week of September to promote awareness of responsible farming practices.

Sources: American Society of Safety Engineers, University of Illinois

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