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Limitations in fields of vision for simulated young farm tractor operators

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Farm tractors account for the majority of deaths and injuries among youths working on North American farms. A vehicle operator's field of vision is an important operational aspect for safe driving. However, very little is known about visual limitations of young tractor operators compared to adult operators. The main purpose of this study was to quantify limitations in fields of vision of children with different anthropometry. The study was based on assessment of 42 farm tractors in popular use in the USA. The results showed that youth operators typically had diminished fields of vision compared to the average adult operator. The degree of visual limitation is greatest for objects at close distances and when objects are straight in front of the operator/tractor. This has serious implications in terms of risks for runovers, rollovers and collisions. Study findings may help illuminate the development of policies and guidelines in tractor-related jobs for children. Statement of Relevance:This study provides an ergonomic approach for evaluation of children's visual limitations in tractor operations. This approach could be used in other related cases, where children are allowed to operate vehicles.
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Keywords: agriculture; children; field of vision; safety; tractor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, USA,Department of Biomedical Engineering, Jungwong University, Goesan-Gun, South Korea 2: Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, USA 3: Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 4: Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield, WI, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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