🚨 Continuing with Canadian Ag Safety Week and the hazards of farm machinery, we want to highlight the dangers of PTOs. 🦺
What is a PTO? A power take-off (PTO) shaft transfers mechanical power from a tractor to another machine or piece of equipment (i.e., elevators, grain augers, and silage blowers). When the PTO driveline is left unguarded, the entire shaft of the driveline is considered a wrap-point hazard.
PTO shafts rotate at a speed of either 540 rpm (9 rotations per second) or 1000 rpm (16.6 rotations per second). At these speeds, a person’s limb can be pulled into and wrapped around a PTO stub or driveline shaft several times before a person has time to react.
Injuries sustained from PTO incidents include severe contusion, cuts, spinal and neck injuries, dislocation, broken bones, and scalping. Some incidents can be fatal.
When working with or around PTOs, remember to keep safety at the top of mind:
- ✔ Keep all components of PTO systems shielded and guarded. PTO shields should never be removed from the tractor, except for maintenance work, and should be replaced immediately when the work is complete.
- ✔ Never step over a rotating shaft. Always walk around tractors and machinery. Be sure to shut the PTO off before dismounting the tractor.
- ✔ Never work on machinery or equipment while the engine is running or is energized. Always turn the equipment and tractor off when making repairs or adjustments. Never switch drivelines among different machines.
- ✔ Be careful not to kink the PTO or guard when making sharp turns or when going up or down steep inclines.
- ✔ Make sure all operators of PTO-driven equipment are trained and knowledgeable about safe operating procedures and hazards.
- ✔ Clothing, such as a pant leg, shoelace, thread from a jacket, and so on, are easily caught by the spinning shaft. In addition to clothing, additional items that can become caught in the PTO include jewellery and long hair.
- ➢ Do not wear loose-fitting clothing around PTO-driven equipment. Wear snug-fitting clothes and remove jewelry before use. Tie back or tuck in long hair and wear a hat to secure hair in place.
- ✔ Keep children away from all moving parts of machines not just the PTO. Always educate kids on the farm about the importance of safety and the dangers of PTOs and other machinery.