Working on the farm or ranch can be dangerous. Especially when using power take-off (PTO) driven farm equipment like elevators, grain augers and silage blowers. The power take-off transfers the power from the tractor to the other machine or equipment. The PTO and the drive shaft rotate quickly. Many power take-off entanglement injuries happen when clothing is caught by the tractor’s PTO stub.
Keeping yourself and everyone who works on your farm or ranch safe is your top priority. Check out these tips to help prevent injuries and avoid power take-off accidents on your farm or ranch.
Power Take-off Safety Tips to Prevent Injuries
1. Use Safety Guards or Shields
Ensuring your tractor and other machinery are equipped with proper safety features like guards or shields can help prevent a PTO entanglement. A master shield covers and extends over the tractor PTO stub on three sides. A driveline shield completely covers the shaft.
2. Don’t Wear Loose-fitting Clothing
Baggy or loose clothing like shirts, sweatshirts, coats and long pants can get caught and tangled in a rotating PTO shaft. When operating a PTO-powered piece of equipment, be sure your clothing is properly fitted and won’t be easily caught on the equipment. Items like shoelaces and jewelry can also get caught. Refrain from wearing jewelry and keep your shoelaces tied properly.
3. Take Precautions
When you’re short on time, taking shortcuts can seem like a good idea but when you’re operating potentially hazardous equipment, it’s important to slow down and follow proper processes:
- Be sure not to step over the power take-off shaft. Instead, walk around the machinery.
- Always turn the equipment and tractor off when making repairs or adjustments.
- Never try to remove debris close to an in-use PTO shaft.
4. Properly Train Others
Teaching others how to safely operate power take-offs is an important part of keeping everyone safe. Take time to walk through proper operating and safety procedures.
5. Educate Children
With the open areas to run and farm machinery to look at, a farm or a ranch is an exciting place for a kid but it can also present dangers. Be sure to talk with your kids about the importance of farm and ranch safety — including staying away from power take-offs and other machinery while in operation.
Your farm or ranch is more than just a business, it’s your livelihood. Practicing safety precautions can help ensure you’re able to run your operation smoothly. Contact your local Farm Bureau agent to be sure your farm and ranch coverage is keeping up with your operation’s needs. And don’t forget to ask your agent about our Workers’ Compensation coverage.