5 Tips for Safely Using Farm Equipment
Life on the farm has certain dangers. It’s the nature of a farmer’s job. Hazards that come with things like equipment operation can become less threatening over time because we deal with them day in and day out. A simple reminder can go a long way. This week, Jason Jackson shares helpful, potentially life-and-limb-saving safety reminders to keep in mind while operating equipment.
The first thing to keep in mind when working with tractors on your farm is to be cautious of the loader arms and bucket. Before operating, be 100% certain that your bucket is secured to the loader arms. Having a never-ending list of tasks to get done on the farm sometimes leads to rushing to complete them. But, when it comes to working with heavy equipment and machinery, it’s important to take your time.
Rushing to switch out attachments—for example, a bucket and a hay fork—greatly increases the odds of forgetting to pin them down correctly. This creates many potential dangers, like the bucket flipping off or hay bales coming back on top of the tractor operator. By taking the time to ensure all parts are attached properly, you can avoid these potential hazards.
Another rule of thumb for tractor safety is to never walk under lifted loader arms.
Lastly, let’s talk about power take-off (PTO) safety. It is absolutely essential to have the PTO guarded. If not, you are putting yourself in a very dangerous situation. Clothing can get caught in the rotating shaft, and people have lost limbs and others have lost their lives by something as simple as dropping a tool on the other side. Even with the guard in place, it is important to never reach around the PTO while it’s running.
Safety Reminder Recap
- Take your time when operating equipment.
- Before operating a tractor, be 100% certain that the bucket is secured to the loader arms.
- Never walk under lifted loader arms.
- Always have a guard on the PTO.
- Never reach around the PTO even with a guard.
As we said in our first safety video, please don’t watch this week’s video or read this blog post without taking action. Later today or tomorrow when you’re out on your farm dealing with equipment, keep these reminders in mind.
Accidents do happen—but a little extra caution can make a big difference. Let’s look out for each other as a community. If you have any suggestions for safety topics we should cover in the future, please reach out and let me know at 800-608-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.