Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS)

A roll-over protective structure (ROPS) is a frame that protects the operator if a tractor rolls. ROPS limits most rolls to 90-degrees. In the a full roll-over, ROPS protects the operator from being crushed by the tractor. Industrial loader tractors are often equipped with an overhead structure to prevent dropped object from hitting the operator, this is known as a falling-object protective structure (FOPS).

You must wear a seat belt
for ROPS to protect you.

Sweden has required ROPS on new tractors since 1959. In the United States, ROPS became standard equipment in 1985. ROPS are available on nearly all tractors sold today and ROPS kits are available for most older tractor models. In the United States, OSHA standard 1928 requires that employers provide ROPS on tractors with more than 20 horsepower (net engine power).

Over 54,000 farm-related injuries in the United States during 2005 with over 700 deaths (US BLS). Farm machinery is the leading cause of farm-related accidents, and tractor roll-overs are a leading cause of machinery accidents. ROPS and a seatbelt could have prevented over 99% of roll-over fatalities.

A common complaint with ROPS is the need for lower tractor heights to operate in vineyards and buildings. Many manufacturers offer a folding ROPS option that allows the upper portion to be lowered. This method requires the operator to raise and lowers the ROPS. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has tested an AutoROPS system in which a roll-over sensor automatically deploys a lowered ROPS.

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