According to the National Safety Council, the Agricultural sector has the highest rate of work-related deaths when compared to all other U.S. industries. Tractor overturns are the most frequent cause of fatality in the agricultural community and with their elimination estimates indicate that the rate of occupational death could be reduced by 25%. In the past five years the New York Center for Agricultural and Occupational Health/Northeast Center for Agricultural Health (NYCAMH/NEC) has worked to develop an intervention model which has significantly increased retrofitting activity in New York. Efforts to expand this intervention model into neighboring and high-risk states have already begun. However, a key element to the success of the New York model and one which will be vital to the development of successful interventions in other states will be financial or social support from agricultural stakeholders to help farmers defray the cost of ROPS installation. Researchers at the NYCAMH have already established fruitful partnerships with many of these individuals in New York and with the research outlined in this proposal, strategies will be developed that will enable researchers from other states to do the same. This proposed research will involve identifying key stakeholders in a tractor rollover intervention effort. Interviews will be conducted with these individuals to assess ways in which both stakeholders and state-based retrofitting initiatives can develop mutually beneficial partnerships. Analysis of these qualitative data will lead to the development of recommendations and materials/tools which will help to build effective coalitions in this area. Such coalitions are essential for state- based initiatives aiming to launch their own successful initiatives. Information and materials/tools will be distributed to state-based initiatives, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health researchers, and any other institutions or individuals who are interested in maximizing stakeholder participation in efforts to reduce tractor overturn fatalities and injuries.
Preventing tractor overturn fatalities and injuries is a top priority according to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing National Occupational Research Agenda. The installation of rollover protective structures (ROPS) on unprotected tractors is the only proven method for meeting this objective, however, providing financial assistance for ROPS installations and gathering stakeholder support for ROPS initiatives will be crucial. Unfortunately, there is currently little research suggesting how to identify important resources and how to successfully persuade these resources to offer necessary financial and structural support. This application proposes to gather the information, strategies and marketing materials necessary to help retrofitting initiatives garner vital financial, political, and social support from stakeholders.