Card 04.04 ROPS and restraint systems



  1. Operator crushing caused by overturning/reversal/rearing up (due to balance loss, use of unsuitable stiffening, improper equipment coupling, manoeuvres performed at high speed, obstacle bumping, road accidents, ground subsidence, ditch/channel presence, manoeuvre mistake or insufficient room, working in inclined/slipping/frozen ground and operator's tiredness or distraction)
  2. Projection and fall from a tractor
  3. Bump against external obstacles
  4. Drowning in water bodies (caused by fall or ground landslide)


It is necessary to remind that:
The overturning/reversal risk of self-propelling equipment, farm tractors and dragged machines carried or half-carried by tractor is present during routine work of machines themselves, during the transfer from fields to farm and during manoeuvres and road traffic which may cause dreadful accidents leading to permanent or fatal consequences.




Moving working equipment with worker/workers aboard shall be provided with a protection structure which prevents equipment overturning (over a spin quarter measure), or with a structure which guarantees an adequate "room/safety space" all around the worker, or with another equivalent device.

If, in case of overturning, there is the risk the worker might be crushed between equipment parts and ground, a restraint system for worker/workers aboard shall be installed. It is necessary to remember that enclosable cab without safety belt does not guarantee worker's restraint: on the assumption of overturning the cab deforms itself, the glass shatters and the operator might be hurled out.

According to the norms, it is logical stating every farm tractor must have roll bars and safety belts. These protections are not compulsory only if working equipment is stabilized for the whole use, or if the working equipment is created to exclude any possible overturning.

  • On condition the safety device has been applied and validated by the builder, it is necessary to check:
  • the presence of a plate fixed with rivets to the machine structure or stamped on the frame;


  • the validation is signalled on the ehicle registration document (prototype validation targeted for road circulation);
  • the owner possesses a declaration of validation, issued by the workshop which realized and assembled the frame, with precise machine's references.

In the event the frame with its validation or a following corresponding intervention is not present, the owner shall check if a respective validated frame is available at the building firm.

In case of on an old tractor must be realized and built an adequate protection structure against overturning, Linee Guida ISPESL (Work Prevention and Safety Institute) can be followed (if their state of the art and technique have been recognized).

Even a new tractor without a frame validation (because it has been destroyed, damaged or lost) can be reconditioned creating a frame following Linee Guida ISPESL, if it is no more produced by the building firm.

Fundamental importance lies in holding devices. They shall be realized according to the type of tractor and the holding point present on it, taking into account structural calculations.

Documents needed:

  • a declaration of structure realization corresponding to Linee Guida ISPESL with a technical card on structural calculations;
  • an appropriate assembly declaration of the structure which, in case of its in stalling in the farm, can be directly created by the employer.

As for the restraint systems, 5 types of farm tractors can be distinguished:

  • equipped with fixed seat;
  • equipped with non validated adjustable seat;
  • equipped with validated adjustable seat;
  • equipped with seat without safety belt joint;
  • equipped with validated seat and saffety belt joint.

Even in this case, for the correct installation of safety belts, Linee Guida ISPESL can be followed (driver's restraint systems page).

For the seat substitution neither validation nor updating of the vehicle registration document are necessary, provided that the substituted seat is positioned in the exact spot of the former one and that the installation follows Linee Guida ISPESL.

A conformity Linee Guida ISPESL declaration shall be granted by the installer and it shall state the machine technical specifications (category, brand, type, frame and plate).

Safety belts can be static adjustable, with inertia controlled or automatic locking retractor and they shall be chosen following a well-defined logical scheme.

Tractor must be provided with protection frame in any case.

A label shall be provided with Certification data and the EU state member acronym where the certification had been issued. The label certifies the belt passed all the checking tests for each component (strap, buckle, seat attachment etc).



  • On inclined ground, the work shall be carried out following the maximum slope (never "through").
  • It is advisable to proceed with the equipment kept towards the lines of maximum slope.
  • The power of the tractor shall be chosen according to the equipment used.
  • Driver shall use adequate gear while proceeding, and must not take advantage of natural ground slope. It is extremely risky.
  • It is forbidden to entrust inexpert worker with risky tasks or in inadequate conditions (tiredness, functional limitation etc)..
  • If safety belts are provided, it is necessary to use them every time, even while continuing climbing into/getting out of vehicles.
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Tractor with enclosable driver's cab

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Safety belt stress test

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Mechanical stress on the protection bar

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Anti-rollover protection holding examples

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Linee Guida ISPESL restraint systems

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Safety belt complete with label