The Nature of Power Take-Off Accidents

  • Sell, Walter E.


The primary goal of this project was to investigate present hazards associated with power take-off components and to make recommendations for reducing power take-off related injuries and deaths.

The following objectives were established to help insure that this primary goal was met:

  • Collect and summarize recent power take-off accident data.
  • Identify the principle factors contributing to power take-off related accidents.
  • Develop practical recommendations which could be readily implemented by farm safety leaders to promote the safe use of power take-off operated agricultural equipment.

The population studied consisted of 64 people who had power take-off accidents from 1975-1984.

In addition to the accident investigation 578 John Deere tractors manufactured from 1952 to 1983 were examined to determine the operator usage and condition of power take-off master shields.

Also included in the study were the results of a power take-off pictorial warning decal survey. Five hundred and eleven people were surveyed to determine which of five pictorial warning decals would be the most effective warning if used on power take-off agricultural equipment.

Four common factors were present in the majority of accidents investigated. These included:

  1. The equipment was in a stationary position with the power take-off engaged.
  2. There was an absence of shielding in the area of entanglement.
  3. A protrusion such as a pin or bolt was present.
  4. The victim put himself in a position where bodily contact with the revolving power take-off occurred.

Of the types of master shields evaluated, the flip-up shield was the most likely to be left in place. The quick-attach shield was the most likely to be removed.


SOURCE: West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University; 1984. 178.


This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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