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NIOSH AutoROPS Latch and Release Mechanism: Second Generation

[+] Author Affiliations
E. A. McKenzie, Jr., J. R. Etherton

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. IMECE2002-32458, pp. 87-91; 5 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3647-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Approximately 132 agricultural tractor overturn fatalities occur per year (Myers and Snyder, 1993). The use of rollover protective structures on farm tractors (ROPS), along with operator seat belt use, is the best known method for preventing these fatalities. One impediment to universal ROPS use, however, is low clearance situations, such as orchards and animal confinement buildings. To address the need for ROPS that are easily adapted to low clearance situations, the Division of Safety Research (DSR), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), developed a prototype automatically deploying, telescoping ROPS (AutoROPS). The NIOSH AutoROPS consists of two subsystems. The first is a retractable ROPS that is normally mounted to the tractor axle and latched in its lowered position for day-to-day use. The second subsystem is a sensor that monitors the operating angle and rate of roll on two axes of the tractor. If an overturn condition is detected by the sensor, the retracted ROPS will deploy and lock in the full upright position before ground contact. This paper discusses the second generation design of the latch and release mechanism (LRM) for the NIOSH AutoROPS and recommends key areas for future surveillance and design research to best facilitate reduction in farm rollover fatalities.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Mechanisms



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