Prevent Injuries From PTO's (News Release)

Some of the most traumatic farm accidents involve power take-off (PTO) entanglements. Unfortunately, they also may be some of the most preventable accidents on the farm.

Injuries from PTO units often are the result of routine use of this powerful equipment. Therefore, developing safe work habits is a key to reducing the number of PTO-related accidents, says (name, title).

"Most farm operators realize the danger of PTOs," (name) says. "However, most accidents around PTOs occur from secondary factors that operators think are out of their control. They aren't."

Secondary factors may be spilled grain or debris in an unloading area that could cause the operator to slip and fall into the PTO. Icy, muddy or manure-covered surfaces also make the work area slick and increase the risk of injury. Bystanders or children in the work area can distract the operator.

(Name) offers these tips to prevent PTO injuries:

  • Keep shields securely in place. Check guards as part of routine maintenance. According to a 1984 study at Purdue University, about one-half of the master shields are missing on tractors. Shields often are removed during field adjustments or repairs, but never replaced.
  • Start equipment only from the cab or operator's station. Make sure everyone is clear of the machine before starting power.
  • Stay far enough away from a powered PTO shaft so that there is no danger of the operator falling into it. The best shield won't work if the operator gets too close.
  • Never step over a revolving shaft, even if it's guarded.
  • Wear comfortable, well-fitted clothes that will not become entangled in the PTO. Most synthetic materials won't tear if caught in a PTO; rather, the PTO will pull in an arm or leg, or contribute to suffocation.
  • Never allow a child to operate a PTO, or to wander into a work area where a PTO is being used.
  • Petrofit older PTOs with shields. Check with a local implement dealer or the manufacturer to order specific retrofit parts.

For more information about evaluating equipment for safety, contact the ________ County extension office at_________. A new publication, Evaluate Equipment for Dangers, Pm-1265c, also is available as part of ISU Extension's SAFE FARM program.

This news release is distributed by the Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: March 1992.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More