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NIOSH AutoROPS 3rd Generation Static Testing and Human Interaction Element

[+] Author Affiliations
E. A. McKenzie, Jr., J. R. Etherton, J. R. Harris, D. M. Cantis, T. J. Lutz

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. IMECE2003-41330, pp. 21-26; 6 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis, Technology and Society, Engineering Business Management, and Homeland Security
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3728-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


To address the need for rollover protective structures (ROPS) on farm tractors that are easily adapted to low overhead clearance situations, the Division of Safety Research (DSR), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), developed an automatically deploying, telescoping ROPS (AutoROPS). The NIOSH AutoROPS at the present is in the third generation design and static testing phase, and the first phase of human subject (human operator) testing and manufacturing. The static testing is based on the SAE J2194 standard for testing ROPS for agricultural tractor use. The nature of the NIOSH AutoROPS is to be in a retracted position until an overturn is determined to be imminent. It is during the deployment time period that potential safety hazards exist that are not present in a traditional fixed ROPS and not addressed in the standards. Human interaction is a key ingredient in refining the design to be both functional and desirable while considering possible hazards. Feedback from farmers who have operated a tractor with the NIOSH AutoROPS installed and in the ready state will enhance the design and acceptability. NIOSH’s goal is to reduce the number of fatal agricultural overturns by increasing the percentage of tractors with ROPS and seatbelts which operate in low clearance environments. This design has met laboratory static testing criteria of the SAE J2194 standard for ROPS on agricultural tractors. Field evaluation of the AutoROPS use by poultry farmers (N=32) in eastern West Virginia showed favorable results and a preference for wanting to purchase and use the NIOSH AutoROPS compared with a currently available manually foldable ROPS. This paper discusses the overall performance of the NIOSH AutoROPS as subjected to the SAE J2194 standard and human interaction/feedback of operating an agricultural tractor with this added safety device.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Testing



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