CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
UI to host tractor injury prevention workshop
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Agricultural health and safety experts at the University
of Iowa College of Medicine will host a workshop on tractor injuries Sept.
10-12 at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City.
"Tractor Injury Prevention: A Policy Workshop" will follow the
13th Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Medicine and
Rural Health, Sept. 7-9 at the UI. Farmers, farm workers, farm organization
representatives, tractor manufacturer and farm equipment dealer representatives,
public health and occupational safety experts, researchers and policy makers
are expected to attend the workshop.
"The overall goal of the workshop is to develop public and private sector
policies that will reduce tractor-related injuries that result in more than
400 deaths among farmers and children on U.S. farms each year," says
Dr. Kelley Donham, UI professor of preventive medicine and environmental health
and director of Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health.
There have been 142 deaths caused by tractor accidents in Iowa since 1990,
The workshop will focus on five key areas of tractor-related injuries: overturns,
run-overs, injuries that occur on public roads, power take-off (PTO) entanglements
and youths who operate tractors. Specific objectives of the workshop include
reviewing existing data on the causes of tractor-related fatalities, identifying
effective injury prevention measures, developing public and private sector
policies and strategies, creating model legislation that may be used by states
to help establish public policy, and promoting methods for policy implementation
Workshop participants will meet as a whole group on the first day, discussing
current issues in tractor injury prevention such as research, engineering,
education, regulation and incentives. On day two, participants will work to
build consensus and develop a policy agenda in each of the five key areas.
Input from farm machinery manufacturers, farmers and farm groups, and workshop
attendees will be used to draft a policy document to be released in the fall.
In addition, participants will develop plans for implementing policies and
David Osterberg, UI adjunct professor of geography, will serve as facilitator
during the workshop sessions. He is a former Iowa state legislator who was
chair of both the House Agriculture and House Environment committees.
Agricultural health and safety researchers have published numerous studies
showing that tractor accidents account for more than half of the farm-related
deaths that occur in the United States each year. A 1994 UI study reported
that 136 deaths occurred in Iowa from tractor-related accidents from 1988-92
-- 56 percent of Iowa's agriculturally-related deaths during that period.
Researchers and other farm safety experts point out that rollover protective
structures (ROPS) are nearly 100 percent effective in preventing tractor-related
injuries and deaths. However, there is no mandate in the U.S. that the devices
be fitted on tractors. It is estimated that approximately two-thirds of the
tractors in use in the U.S. are not equipped with a ROPS. Several leading
tractor manufacturers do offer retrofit ROPS for their equipment at or below
their cost. A ROPS can be installed on many tractor models for between $300-$600.