TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2008) – With the busy harvest season upon us, Kubota Tractor Corporation encourages all equipment users to renew their focus on safety in commemoration of the National Safety Council’s (NSC) 64th anniversary of National Farm Safety and Health Week, September 21-27, 2008.
With approximately two million farms in the United States today, the NSC’s 2008 edition of the Injury Facts ranks agriculture as the nation’s most dangerous industry with 28.7 deaths per 100,000 adult workers.
Even more alarming are the youth fatalities: it is estimated that 907 youth died on U.S. farms between 1995 and 2002, according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth, 23 percent involved machinery, including tractors; 19 percent involved motor vehicles, including ATVs; and 16 percent were due to drowning.
“Kubota is dedicated to making farm and ranch life safer for all families – especially our children – and is encouraging a renewed commitment to safety, especially during National Farm Safety and Health Week,” says Greg Embury, vice president of sales and marketing, Kubota Tractor Corporation. “We urge our customers and all equipment operators to put safety first as they use tractors, lawn and garden equipment, construction equipment and utility vehicles.”
Though safety is something that must be practiced year round, Kubota’s renewed call to action during harvest season takes particular focus on advising families and businesses to take time this month to review important operating information as it relates to tractor, mower and utility vehicle safety.
“A small time commitment now could prevent an accident or fatality in the future,” adds Embury.
As a sponsor of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day™ educational program, Kubota is part of an effort designed to make safety education and training available for children year-round. Now in its 14th year, the program will conclude more than 380 Safety Day events in 2008, spanning 35 states, six Canadian provinces, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. In 2007, the programs reached more than 76,000 participants with the help of 16,000 adult and older-teen volunteers. To date, Safety Days have touched the lives of more than 650,000 children and adults in rural communities.
Kubota strongly encourages its customers to be sure that older tractors and equipment have a Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) and seatbelt to provide a protective zone around the operator – greatly reducing the chances of serious injury in the case of a rollover accident. Kubota has provided a ROPS as standard equipment since 1985 – even before federal law required manufacturers to include a ROPS on new tractors. Owners of early Kubota models can have a ROPS and safety belt retrofit to their tractors by contacting their local Kubota dealer.
To date, Kubota dealers throughout the country have installed more than 10,000 retrofits. According to the NSC, if all tractors were equipped with a ROPS and a safety belt, about 350 lives would be saved each year.
Additional safety information, including Kubota’s “Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety” and a tractor safety coloring book, can be found at the Kubota Web site, www.kubota.com. Owners of older model Kubota tractors can also utilize a ROPS and Seatbelt Installation function on the Kubota.com safety pages that allows owners to submit their tractor’s model and serial number for eligible models to attain retrofit pricing from their local Kubota dealer.
Kubota Tractor Corporation, Torrance, Calif., is the U.S. marketer and distributor of Kubota-branded equipment, including a complete line of tractors up to 103 PTO hp, performance-matched implements, compact and utility-class construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. For product literature or dealer locations, contact Kubota Tractor Corporation at 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503, (888) 4-KUBOTA [(888) 458-2682], Ext. 900, or visit www.kubota.com