NY Farm Safety Program increases rebate to farmers by $100 to $865
In late October, Bradford, New York livestock farmer Edward Machuga had a large tree limb he had just cut spring back at him as he sat on his tractor. The limb stuck his rollbar, and Machuga walked away unharmed. He had recently installed a rollover protective structure (ROPS) on his tractor through a life-saving program sponsored by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH).
“That limb sprung up from the bottom, came across and caught that bar, otherwise I don’t know what it would have done to me,” Machuga says. “It was a good thing that I had that protection on my tractor. My grandson drives it all the time so I feel safer that he has the rollbar, and I feel safer too,” he adds.
NYCAMH’s New York State Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program has successfully targeted the leading cause of death on farms?tractor overturns. Now in its sixth year, NYCAMH refunds farmers 70%* of the cost of installing a roll bar and seatbelt on a tractor. This equipment is 99% effective in preventing harm to the operator in the event of an overturn.
Today, the *rebate maximum increases from $765 to $865, an additional $100 savings for New York farmers.
Machuga is in the process of retrofitting his third John Deere tractor through the ROPS Program, and plans to retrofit two or three more over the next few years. “When I was young, I didn’t want the cab or rollbar,” he explains. “I wanted to enjoy the sunshine. But as you get older, you realize that anything can happen.” He and his sons, Edward and Eric, manage the 1,200 acre livestock farm that has been in the family for 73 years.
“Our program has increased by ten-fold the number of farmers making their tractors safe by retrofitting them with rollover protection systems,” says Dr. John May, director of NYCAMH. “This is important because a farmer’s risk of dying on the job is eight times higher than that of the average American worker.”
The ROPS program has been so successful that it expanded in recent years to New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania.
ROPS is just one of many life-saving programs sponsored by NYCAMH. For nearly 25 years, the organization has worked with New York farmers to decrease the number of farmers killed and injured on the job, address worksite hazards, prevent costly injuries and reduce workers compensation costs.
“I tell farmers now that if they want to hang around, put the protection on your tractor,” Machuga says.
For more information or to register for the ROPS rebate program, call 1-877-ROPS-R4U (or 1-877-767-7748).