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Lawn Tractor Blog

Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) – Rollovers, Drownings

Riding Lawn Mower & Riding Lawn Tractor Rollover Accident Attorney

Workers Compensation attorneys never process claims against the manufacturers - Ed does and invites co-counsel and referral relationships. Some of Ed's thoughts on Roll-over Protective Structures (ROPS) follows:

Riding lawnmower operators (landscapers and homeowners) across America are dying needlessly while providing lawn care and property maintenance services at condominium developments, golf courses, parks, farms and behind and private homes.

Rollovers claim approximately 100 lives per year and account for the majority of tractor and riding mower related fatalities. This number is potentially higher because some incidents go unreported. According to a 2009 U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) report, more than 247,000 people are injured while mowing. The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has also determined that use of ROPS and seat belts is estimated to be 99 percent effective in preventing death or serious injury in an overturn.

Roll-over Protective Structures consist of either a cab or frame / bars that provide a safe zone for the tractor / mower operator in a rollover. ROPS must meet standards set forth by the OSHA for agricultural tractors (CFR 1928.51(a)) or industrial tractors (CFR 1926.1002(j)(2)). While ROPS improve safety, these tractors must also be equipped with seatbelts. Without seatbelts, operators are not confined to the protective zone.

Here are some conditions where tractor and mower rollovers occur:

  • On sloped ground / when operator is mowing on an incline
  • When ground has divots, holes, or other hazards that the operator may not see and one of the tractor tires goes into the depressed area
  • Along the banks of canals, lakes, ponds and rivers where ground is normally sloped and soft
  • On ground that is swampy or slippery such as clay or mud
 
When these tractors roll over into water – even as shallow as two and a half feet – the driver is often crushed by the weight of the tractor or is pinned down and unable to get out from under and thus drowns.

The NOISH study also revealed that over 2.4 million tractors/mowers in the U.S. are not retrofitted. Consider that the onetime effort of installing ROPS and restraints on a mower or tractor will protect all drivers of the tractor for all the years the tractor is used.


Edward M. Ricci, P.A. litigates riding mower and tractor rollover cases throughout Florida and the U.S. We have the experience and resources to effectively seek justice for the families who so desperately need it – many of these who are killed provided the main source of income for their families. Workers' Compensation alone will not provide for the future well-being of the family members.

To learn more about Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS), or to receive a complimentary review of a potential case, please contact our law firm online or call us at 561-748-8000. We are happy to answer your questions about riding lawn mower and tractor rollovers and drowning death cases.


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Pursuing Justice.

For more than four decades, Edward M. Ricci has specialized in civil trial law. He pursues justice for victims in the areas of auto accidents, personal injury and wrongful deaths, cemetery desecrations, lawn tractor / riding mower accidents, crashworthiness (product defects), insurance litigation and consumer claims. The firm serves consumers throughout Florida and the United States.