Measurement of Operator Exposure to Power Take-Off Driven Augers

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Field, William E.;
  • Wilkinson, Terry L.;
  • Beer, Shane R.


Prior studies at Purdue University have shown that PTO entanglements occur most frequently on portable grain augers. A research project was conducted to measure operator exposure to PTO components and document work patterns during the use of grain augers. Information on the methodologies used to measure operator exposure is presented along with data on exposure to conventional grain augers while unloading from trucks and wagons, extended dump hopper augers, and swing-away hopper augers. It was found that operators had a higher exposure time to operating PTO components when the driveline was located on the right side of the grain auger, as one stands facing the hopper end of the auger, than on the left side of the grain auger when using conventional grain augers and grain trucks. It was determined that this added exposure was due to the position of the driver's door of the truck, the natural path of the driver from the operator's seat to the rear of the truck, and the movement of the truck body into the workspace when tilted. Of all scenarios examined, operators had the highest exposure time when using conventional grain augers and gravity-flow grain wagons. Operators had no recorded exposure time when operating swing-away hopper augers. Recommendations were made based on the observations of this study for reducing operator exposure through increased awareness of hazards and reconfiguration of the way augers are incorporated into grain handling operations.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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