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Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death on farms, accounting for nearly 100 fatalities each year, and 2018 was no different:

• In Iowa, a 46-year-old man and 12-year-old girl were killed when a tractor rolled into a roadside ditch. (June 28)

• In Pennsylvania, a 78-year-old man died when he was clearing trees and his tractor rolled over an embankment. (August 19)

• In Minnesota, a 26-year-old man died after being pinned under his tractor, which rolled on a hillside. (August 27)

Take action to prevent a tragedy. Contact the Wisconsin Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program, 1-877-ROPS-R4U (1-877-767-7748), or go to www.ropsr4u.com and click on “Wisconsin.” The program reimburses up to 70 percent (maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS.

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The program is run by the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, with philanthropic support from the Auction of Champions. The program has installed more than 240 ROPS. A ROPS will protect the tractor owner, employees, family, and anyone who drives that tractor for years to come.

A ROPS is an operator compartment structure (usually cab or rollbar) intended to protect farmers from injuries caused by overturns or rollovers. More than half the tractors in Wisconsin do not have this protection. ROPS did not become standard on U.S.-manufactured tractors until 1985. A ROPS, when used with a seatbelt, is 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn.

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