Concerning the farm labour force, 14.7 million persons were working regularly on the 6.6 million agricultural holdings and actually more than half of the holders in EU-27 is older than 55 years. In Italy in 2003 the 40% of the agricultural holders were older than 65 years. From the occupational safety and health point of view, agriculture has been recognized as one of the most hazardous occupations and in a context where an high percentage of all farm operators are 65 years of age or older, age becomes a serious factor when considering potential risk for injuries among this population. The fatal injuries caused by machines for the class age >65 in Italy in the period 2000-2006 are the 34,3% of the total to demonstrate how more dangerous is the factor ‘machine’ for the aged farmers. Among all the machines, the tractor is the main responsible of all the injuries type also for the older farmers: rollover accidents, collision accidents, striking stationary objects and being struck by moving tractors are a concern to agricultural workers in general and when the physiological responses and the body movements are slower as in the advanced age, many accident situations may become fatal. Older farmers do often use old tractors, purchased 20-30 years ago, before the European Directives obliged manufacturers to adopt the basic safety requirements for tractors and agricultural machines. Because of their machines age, senior operators have less safety equipment installed on their tractors: they have fewer ROPS, emblems, working lights, power take-off (PTO) master shields, communication devices, and safety decals installed.
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