Author(s): Day L, Rechnitzer G
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Abstract This article reports on the implementation of published guidelines for retrofitting tractors with safe access platforms, which were developed to reduce the risk of serious injuries and deaths associated with mounting and dismounting. Farmer interviews and engineering-based inspections of ten retrofitted tractors were conducted to gather information regarding benefits and disadvantages of the retrofitting and to assess the construction of the platforms. A scoring system was developed for platform retrofitting, and weighted scores between zero and ten were calculated for tractor access before and after retrofitting. Access was improved on all tractors, although to varying degrees. The average post-retrofit weighted score was 6.3 (range 2.6 to 9.7), compared with the pre-retrofit average of 0.9 (range 0.3 to 1.6). Five tractors received a post-retrofit score of 8.0 or higher. None of the lower-scoring tractors fully met the specifications for placement of the bottom step or rear wheel guard, two key characteristics for runover prevention. Other characteristics associated with a lower post-retrofit score included a low bottom step, high step rises, absence of colored nosing, and the front handrail space not being filled in. Platform retrofitting had little effect on tractor operations and substantially improved ease of access. This is the first published evaluation of a design-based solution for tractor runover injuries. This study shows that general guidelines for retrofitting of safe access platforms can be successfully applied. Mechanisms to increase adherence to the key criteria of bottom step positioning and rear wheel guarding should be included in future promotion.
This article was published in J Agric Saf Health
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics