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Tips to protect tractor operators from rollover accidents

Farmers in Pennsylvania use all kinds of heavy machinery, including tractors. When tractors roll over, they can injure operators seriously or cause death. Every year brings over 100 fatal tractor rollover accidents, but rollover protective structures can increase safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines for the effective use of roll bars and cage frames.

Agricultural employers need to meet OSHA standards when maintaining or replacing rollover protection structures on tractors. Workers also require thorough safety training that could prevent accidents. Operators should understand that they need to reduce tractor speeds near ditches, slopes or waterways. Steep slopes should be avoided entirely. They should not carry passengers on a tractor or make sharp turns.

OSHA regulations emphasize the need to keep tractors in good working condition. Inspections of equipment could catch problems that might contribute to an accident. Batteries, fuel tanks, coolant systems and oil reservoirs all require regular attention. Sharp edges on machines should be blunted. Employers should direct workers to always keep rollover protective structures in the place unless they must be collapsed or removed to drive beneath structures with low clearance.

A person who operates heavy equipment for a living faces a daily risk of accident and injury. The law obligates an employer to provide workers' compensation insurance to pay for medical care and sometimes lost wages or disability after an on-the-job injury. Insurers and employers, however, have an interest in keeping settlements low for costly workplace injuries like a neck injury or brain injury. A person might want to consult an attorney to get clear answers about how to qualify for benefits. An attorney may prepare paperwork, arrange for an independent medical evaluation and manage negotiations with an insurer. Some disputes might require the filing of a lawsuit.

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