Farm tractors are a primary tool for most farms. But studies show tractors are also involved in a high proportion of farm injuries and fatalities. Most accidents can be prevented by following basic tractor safety guidelines.
Five major areas cause most farm tractor accidents: rollovers, run overs, road accidents, blind spots and entanglements. Here are tips to prevent each. But the best idea is to develop a "safety first" attitude on your farm. Follow safe work practices at all times and set a good example for others.
Be sure your tractor is equipped with a ROPS (rollover protective structure) and a seat belt. Always wear your seat belt, back up steep slopes, check for uneven ground or large obstacles, avoid wet or muddy fields and drive tractors slowly.
Always turn the engine off when you're not in the driver's seat. And never allow extra riders – it's distracting and unsafe.
Tractors should not be operated on the highways without flashing lights and reflective slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems displayed on the rear of any machinery, even if being towed. Stay aware of any traffic around you, and stay as far over to the right of the road as practical.
Never allow children to play or hide around tractors or other equipment. Walk completely around tractors and other equipment before getting on to ensure you're aware of anything in your path.
Be sure your PTO (power take-off) shield is in place or replace it. Always walk around an operating PTO, not over it. Do not wear loose fitting clothing or allow loose, long hair around machinery with moving parts. Disengage power and turn the engine off before trying to manually clear a clogged machine.