Modern farm tractors are the workhorses of agriculture and the safety advances made in their construction in recent years make them safer than ever. But, tragic accidents do still occur on a regular basis. According to OSHA, there are 200 tractor-related deaths annually that happen in the U.S. alone, along with many more accidents that result in serious injury.
These accidents don’t need to happen. To make sure that you don’t become part of these unfortunate statistics, follow these basic guidelines:
- Be familiar with the terrain and work area. Walk the area first to identify any debris or obstacles that could hinder the ability to drive around the area safely. Use special caution on slopes, slow down for all turns and stay off the highway whenever possible.
- Always keep the power take-off properly shielded. Walk around the tractor and PTO driven implement, never over, through or between the tractor and implement, particularly if either is running.
- Keep hitches low and always on the drawbar. Otherwise, the tractor might flip over backward.
- Never start an engine in a closed shed or garage. Exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly.
- Keep all children off and away from the tractor and its implements at all times. Children are generally attracted to tractors and the work they do.
Source: National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.