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The Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety

Published Jan 18, 2013 in Business & Management
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Presentation Slides & Transcript

Presentation Slides & Transcript

The Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety
December, 2010

The “Ten Commandments ” of tractor safety were developed by Kubota, and they are considered industry standard among tractor companies.
John Deere, Massey Ferguson, Ford, and others all have similar tractor safety rules.
The Ten Commandments
(of Tractor Safety)

Commandment One
Know Your Tractor, Its Implements, and How They Work

The operator’s manual is required reading. All training of employees must incorporate the operators manual.

Training is also required by DOSH agriculture rules: WAC 296-307-08018 if the tractor is equipped with roll-over protection.

Example manual

Find, read and understand the operators manual for each piece of agricultural equipment you will be operating.
Know the operating rules and equipment limitations before you begin work.

How To Train Operators
Train new and inexperienced operators.

Point out special hazards on the farm and how to avoid them.

Do not let operators drive on public roads without a driver’s license.
Commandment One
Source: Texas Dept. of Insurance – Div. Workers Compensation

Have operator practice in large, level field or yard.

Trainer should drive around yard, demonstrating how controls operate.

Trainer should walk near the tractor as the student drives, giving instruction.
Commandment One – Training Operators
Source: Cornell University Cooperative Extension
Finally, after the student has learned to operate the tractor alone in a level area, then attach and operate the additional implements.

New operators should gradually work into more complex jobs of tractor operation.

Commandment Two
Use ROPS and Seat Belt

Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) do not prevent rollovers, but are 95% effective in preventing death or serious injury.

A rollover happens so fast, your human reflexes cannot possibly react in time to change the outcome. Typically, a victim of a tractor rollover without ROPS protection will experience injuries such as broken bones, lacerations and contusions. Crushing head, chest and pelvic injuries, along with collapsed lungs should also be expected.
Tractor Roll Over – side or back

If you have a foldable ROPS, keep it in the “up” position and always use a seatbelt. Only fold it down when you must and do not use the seatbelt when the ROPS is folded down. A ROPS and seatbelt assures that you will stay in the “protective zone”.
Foldable ROPS
This ROPS folded down resulted in fatality

Commandment Three
Be Familiar With Your Terrain and Work Area

Walk the area first, use special caution on slopes, slow down for turns, and avoid the highway if possible. Be especially aware of conditions at the end of rows.

Most tractor overturns occur to the side. Typical causes include hitting an obstacle, operating on steep slopes, using front–end loaders and operating at excessive speeds.
In many cases, an implement is attached to the tractor or being towed. The attached equipment can increase the severity of the accident and complicate rescue operations.
Operating on Sloped Ground

The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning may be non-specific and similar to those of viral cold infections: headache, nausea, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough. More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, over-breathing (hyperventilation), confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Seizures, loss of consciousness and death can occur at high levels.
Commandment Four
Never Start An Engine In A Closed Shed or Garage
All internal combustion engines, diesel or gasoline, generate carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless gas.

Commandment Five
Always Keep Your PTO Properly Shielded

PTO accidents cause serious injury or death. Human reflexes cannot compete with the speed and power of a rotating PTO shaft. Once caught, a victim has no time to escape.

PTO properly shielded
Clothing caught on unguarded PTO

To Prevent PTO Accidents
Ensure that PTO shields are in place before work begins.

Replace cracked or defective shields immediately.

Stop PTO before dismounting.

Keep clothing, hair and all body parts away from a rotating PTO.
Commandment Five
Fatality report – employee killed when clothing caught on power take-off shaft

To Prevent PTO Accidents (Cont.)
Never step over a rotating PTO shaft. Instead, walk around it or turn off the equipment.

Always use the driveline or PTO shaft recommended for your machine.

Never use parts of one brand of machine in another model.

Position the drawbar properly for each type of implement used.
Commandment Five

Commandment Six
Keep Your Hitches Low and Always on the Draw Bar
This prevents the tractor from flipping over backwards. Rear overturns are less frequent than sideways rollovers, but are just as likely to be fatal.

To Prevent Rear Overturns
Front chassis weights can be used to counterbalance rear-mounted implements and heavy drawbar loads.

Always start forward motion gradually.

Always drive around ditches, never cross them.
Commandment Six

To Prevent Rear Overturns (Con’t.)
Whenever possible, back tractors up steep slopes and come down forward.

If you have to back down a slope, do it slowly in a low gear.

Never put boards or logs in front of drive wheels. Back out if you are stuck in the mud.
Commandment Six

When the tractor has been left running, and the operator is not in the tractor seat, there is the possibility that the tractor will malfunction in some way, start moving, and run over you or bystanders. A moving tractor can also damage or become damaged by objects in the area.
Commandment Seven
Never Get Off A Moving Tractor or Leave It With Its Engine Running.
Shut the tractor off, set the parking brake, then dismount.

Don’t start the engine from anywhere but the seat. Operators have been run over by not doing that.

Commandment Eight
Never Refuel While the Engine is Running - or Hot

Always shut the tractor down when adding fluids, fuels, and performing maintenance. A spark from the ignition system or hot exhaust could cause the fuel to ignite.
Use caution when refueling tractors. Always refuel the tractor outside. There is always a risk of fire and explosion.
Grounding out the tractor with a ground wire or by dropping mounted equipment so it touches the ground can reduce static electricity.

Commandment Nine
Keep Children Away From Your Tractor & Its Implements At All Times
Don’t allow children to ride with you on the tractor. No exceptions, unless it’s an enclosed cab with a child seat. Some new, larger tractors come equipped with child seats.
Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them.
Keep children out of the work area and under the watchful eye of another responsible adult.
Never allow children to play on the tractor or implement.
Use extra caution when backing up, look behind and down - make sure area is clear before moving.

Dangerous! Don’t do this! A small bump and the rider can fall off and be run over. Additionally! There is no roll-bar on this tractor, putting the operator in extreme danger.
How many seats are on the tractor? The number of seats equals how many people should ride the tractor. There is no safe place either on the tractor or on any of the implements. Teach children to drive only when they have developed the maturity, size and strength to handle a tractor safely.
No Riders!!

Commandment Ten
Never Be In A Hurry or Take Chances On Anything To Do With A Tractor.

There is always time to assure that your next step will not be your last step.

Remember, a tractor is workhorse, not a racehorse. A tractor is designed for easy maneuverability at low speeds, not high speeds.

Slow down on turns or curves. A tractor’s center of gravity is higher than a car and a fast sharp turn can result in a side rollover.

As you have learned, there is plenty to remember when it comes to tractor safety. Do your work carefully and safely, so that you leave your worksite under your own power, and not in an ambulance! Leaving under your own power is a much better way to end the day.

More Information
Kubota Corporation – Ten Commandants of Tractor Safety

National Ag Safety Database(NASD) – A Guide to Safe Farm Tractor Operation

National Ag Safety Database(NASD) – Power Take-off Safety

Washington State University – Tractor Safety