Design Criteria And Guidelines For Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)
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Design Criteria And Guidelines For Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)

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      Several federal and state agencies have promulgated regulations that require the installation of operator protective structures on mobile equipment used in mining, construction, agriculture and logging industries. These regulations cover many different types of vehicles, from small farm tractors to large rubber-tired front-end loaders, and require structures that help protect the operator from death or injury from vehicle overturns, from falling tree tops and logs, from falling rocks, and from tree limbs in clearing operations. Two general types of vehicle operator protective structures have evolved over the past twenty years. The first of these is the "Roll-Over Protective Structure'' or "ROPS" that is essentially a "roll bar" or "roll cage" that provides a relatively safe area for the vehicle operator if the vehicle should tip over and roll. The second protective structure is the "Falling Object Protective Structure" or "FOPS" that provides overhead protection against falling material. The terms "ROPS" and "FOPS" are often used interchangeably (sometimes inaccurately) with "cabs", canopies , "roll bars" , protective structures" and other such descriptive names. In this report, "ROPS" describes the function of the structure; "FOPS" also describes a particular function. Thus a ROPS/FOPS could describe a cab or a canopy that provides both roll-over protection and falling object protection. MESA is used as an abbreviation for the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration; "USBM" is used to abbreviate the U, S. Bureau of Mines.
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