Farm Safety Week Advice: Ditch a Duff Shaft

A tractor power take-off (PTO) and the PTO drive shaft of a machine are very dangerous if used and not correctly guarded. Usually accidents occur when farmers get out of the tractor to check or adjust the machinery and it has not been switched off so that the PTO shaft is still rotating. However even when guarded the guard can become damaged very easily during routine farm activities order cialis overnight. If this goes unnoticed or is left – no matter how small the damage – it can result in a serious or fatal accident.

Overview of the problem

Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO drive shafts. These include, James Chapman, one of our Farm Safety Ambassadors, who lost his arm in a PTO accident. James, who was awarded an MBE for services to farm safety in June 2012 has campaigned for better farm safety since his arm was severed when his clothes became entangled with an unguarded PTO shaft in 2005. Most of these accidents are preventable if the PTO and PTO drive shaft are fitted with guards of good design which are properly used and maintained.

What can be done:

  • Take extra care when using a PTO-driven machine, eg a slurry tanker, in a stationary position;
  • Ensure guards are in place – check they are properly chained, lubricated and free from defects;
  • Report any faults immediately;
  • Do not use a machine with a damaged PTO shaft guard;
  • Ensure the tractor is chocked or that there is a mechanical connection between the tractor and a stationary PTO-driven machine to ensure the tractor or machine does not move, causing the PTO shaft to separate;
  • Don’t forget to check the PTO is guarded where the PTO shaft attaches to the tractor.
  • For PTO shaft guards, check that the guard is:
    • Made to a recognised standard such as BS EN ISO 5674;
    • The correct size and length for the shaft, both when closed and when extended;
    • A non-rotating type, with the restraining device (for example, securing chains) in place;
    • Properly used and maintained. Clean and lubricate guards regularly;
    • Supported when not connected. Do not rest it on the drawbar or drop it on the ground, and do not suspend it by the restraining device;
    • Safe from damage, for example, by livestock, when the machine is in store

Remember: A broken, damaged or badly fitting PTO guard can be just as dangerous as no guard at all.

stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9Farm Safety Week Advice: Ditch a Duff Shaft