Reminders for farm safety: Part Two

One of the biggest dangers with machinery is the chance of entanglement from the PTO shaft.

With the constant rush to get things done around the farm, safety is not usually the first priority. The PTO or Power Take Off shaft supplies power from the tractor to an attached implement. Always make sure that the safety guards are in place as recommended by the manufacturer. Removing these guards exposes the operator to potential entanglements. With the PTO shaft rotating at 540 or 1000 RPM, body parts, hair or clothing can become entangled in a matter of seconds, resulting in serious injury or death. According to the National Ag Safety Database and a Purdue University fact sheet, PTO guards were missing in 70 percent of the cases of entanglement and 78 percent of the time it was the operator involved in the incident.

Remember to always walk around machinery and never step, lean, or climb over the PTO shaft and make sure the safety guards are always in place. According to a NDSU fact sheet, an arm or leg can be wrapped around the shaft nine times in a second at 540 RPM. At 1000 RPM, it can be wrapped 16 times per second. Burns can result from entangled clothing. When you are done with the machinery, even for the briefest period, make sure the PTO is out of gear, the brake is set and the engine is stopped.

Being aware of your surroundings and using some common sense goes a long way to staying safe around machinery.

Related MSU Extension News article: Reminders for farm safety: part 1

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