Agriculture has been considered one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S., with studies showing that the worker fatality rate in agriculture is over seven times higher in 2011 than the fatality rate for all private industry workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many of the fatalities and injuries that occur each year are preventable based on the use of protective equipment. Hazards associated with agricultural equipment such as farm tractors have been known for a number of years, and safety features have been introduced to mitigate, or in some cases, eliminate hazards associated with operation of this type of equipment. This paper presents a historical analysis of fatal and nonfatal injury data to identify potential effects of these safety features once introduced. The risks agricultural workers face, with an emphasis on hazards presented by farm equipment, is identified and quantified from data in recent years, specifically for farm tractors. For context, an introduction to the regulations and industry standards relevant to agricultural equipment is given, including the introduction of certain safety features such as roll-over protective structures (ROPS), which have been an industry standard requirement on tractors manufactured since the mid-1980s. Overall, recent data show continual reductions in the number of fatal injuries in the agricultural industry, particularly for farm tractors. However, further research is needed to clearly correlate the specific effects of safety mitigation devices on injuries associated with equipment in this industry.

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