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MASON CITY, Iowa – Normally when we hear about accidents on the farm, we tend to think about the ones involving grain bins. But as it turns out, tractor rollovers are actually the number one cause of death on U.S. farms.
Mason City farmer, Kevin Pope is used to working with some heavy equipment on a day-to-day basis.
“Tractors, combine, sprayer, tillage equipment.”
Each machine takes some skill to operate, but that tractor can be especially dangerous if someone don’t know what they’re doing.
Pope said, “They’re on a really steep slope and then the tractor just simply tips over because of the grade the tractor is on is too steep.”
And that makes sense. According to the Centers for Disease control, tractor rollovers are the leader cause of death on the farm.
Kevin says, he’s not surprised.
“They’re basically crushed or pinned underneath. It’s a bad deal.”
Luckily most tractors and other machinery have multiple safety features to protect you in a roll-over situation.
Brakke Implement Sales Representative, Tim Lodin said, “Even tractors without cabs have a rollover protections. It’s basically just a bar that goes up over the top.”
But there’s also one very simple safety measure that can save your life – and that’s your seat belt.
Lodin said, “Most people nowadays don’t give it a second thought before they get into their car or truck to put your seat belt on, but it’s just as important to wear that in a tractor.”
Tim says even the most experienced farmer can benefit from taking a second to review their safety knowledge.
“They haven’t been in these things for 3-4 months, and combines they haven’t been in for 10 months. So it’s just good to get acquainted again with all the equipment all the buttons all the gadgets in theses things.”
And with harvest being just a few weeks away, Kevin hopes his fellow farmers take every precaution possible to stay safe.
He said, “Step back and think about what you’re gonna do and just operate in a safe manner. Accidents do happen, but you need to do everything you can to prevent those.”