July 21, 2015
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), ten people on average die in tractor accidents in the UK each year and there are hundreds of major injuries, including amputations and fractures. To reduce your chance of an accident, safety must remain a top concern.
General Safety Precautions
- Always wear a seatbelt while operating a tractor and ensure that the proper rollover protection structure (ROPS) is in place.
- Perform regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep the power take-off (PTO), PTO shaft and power input coupling guards in place.
- Never carry others unless the tractor is fitted with a ROPS and has a separate seat with a seatbelt.
- Always wear hearing protection, as not all tractor cabs are soundproof.
- Make sure that your path is clear before proceeding.
- Dismount every hour for 5-10 minutes to avoid strain injuries.
- Drive at slow speeds to retain control and maintain the ability to stop suddenly. Reduce your speed when turning and braking.
- Use a wide wheel track on hillsides and sloping ground.
- Put on the hand brake before dismounting.
- Never leave a tractor in a position where it can roll, where it is jacked up or with the starter key in the ignition.
- Guard the PTO shaft, drive and input connections to protect clothing or body parts against becoming tangled.
- To reduce the risk of a PTO injury, make sure that the control lever is easily reachable while sitting.
- Do not turn sharply when operating power implements. This can cause the PTO guard cones to break and lower links or tractor tyres can foul the power shaft.
- Fit attachments according to manufacturer’s instructions only.
- Only attach implements to the draw bar or mounting points provided by the manufacturer.
- Check the safety pins on towed lift wing implements regularly for wear and tear.
- Ensure that all towed implements guards are in place before operating the tractor.
- Never adjust or perform work on implements when they are in motion.
As you can see, there are many moving parts that you need to keep in mind to meet one goal: staying safe on the job. If you have questions about tractor safety, ask!