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Cost-effective Rollover Protective Structure (CROPS)

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Engineering Control, Motor Vehicle Safety, Outdoor Work, Transportation

Despite a decades-long effort to raise awareness about the importance of roll over protective structures (ROPS) in preventing injury and death from tractor roll overs, tractor overturns continue to be the leading cause of occupational agricultural death in the United States.

While all tractors produced since 1986 come with ROPS as standard equipment, farm tractors have a long life span.  Unless a tractor has been retrofitted, operators of older tractors are unprotected during rollovers.   We know there are various reasons for the reluctance to retrofit older tractors with ROPS.  We’ve heard them all: “They cost too much.” “They are too much of a hassle to find/install.” “My dad/grandpa/ mother/uncle never used them and they never had a problem.”  The fact remains that farmworkers continue to die while working on unprotected tractors. 

El trabajo con vehículos todo-terreno

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Motor Vehicle Safety, Oil and Gas, Outdoor Work, Transportation

This blog post is also available in English
 

Trabajador jalando un tronco en una pequeña operación forestal.

Durante los últimos treinta años, los vehículos todo-terreno (VTT) se han vuelto cada vez más populares a nivel recreativo y se han convertido en una herramienta importante en el trabajo.   Con unos 11 millones en uso en el 2010, tanto en actividades laborales como recreativas, los VTT se han vuelto un medio de transporte común.        

Los VTT se empezaron a fabricar a fines de la década de 1960 como vehículos para el traslado del campo a la ciudad, en áreas aisladas y montañosas de Japón. Se comenzaron a usar en los Estados Unidos a principios de los años ochenta para la agricultura. Los VTT tienen muchas

All-terrain Vehicles and Work

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Motor Vehicle Safety, Oil and Gas, Outdoor Work, Transportation

Worker hauling log during small-scale forestry operation

Over the past 30 years, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have grown increasingly popular recreationally and have become a valuable asset at work.   With an estimated 11 million in use in 2010 for both work and recreation, ATVs have become a common means of transportation.       

ATVs were first manufactured in the late 1960s as farm-to-town vehicles for use in isolated, mountainous areas in Japan. They were first introduced in the U.S. for agricultural applications in the early 1980s. ATVs have many unique features that enable them to operate in a variety of harsh environments where other larger, less mobile vehicles cannot be used, making them very useful in the workplace. 

Wildland Fire Fighting Safety and Health

Categories: Cardiovascular Disease, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Outdoor Work, Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Health

Photo courtesy of Todd Wyckoff, New Jersey Forestry Services

Wildland fires continue to increase in the Western United States as hot, dry and windy conditions persist, resulting in an extended fire season and factors conducive to fires. Currently, drought conditions are prevalent in the West due to low snow-pack levels, below average rainfall, record setting temperatures and high winds, resulting in a greater than average number of fires this year. Since January 2012, over 32,000 fires have burned almost 3.3 million acres in the US. [NIFC, 2012a].   (For current data see the Fighting Wildfires Topic Page).  Additionally, in the last 50 years, there has been a general increase in the occurrence and severity of forest wildfires in the US, as over 5 million wildfires have burned over 206 million acres [NIFC, 2012b]. 

When wildland fires occur in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), the area where houses meet undeveloped land, they can easily become catastrophic because a large number of people, homes and structures are at-risk. When a fire ignites in these areas, a quick and aggressive response from wildland fire agencies and wildland fire fighters is required. 

 
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