Almost all agricultural operations involve implements of some kind. Most injuries can be prevented simply by paying attention to the job at hand. Trouble comes from taking shortcuts because you are in a hurry or too impatient to do the job correctly.

Causes of Injury from Usage of Implements

  • Failure to turn off the tractor and implement’s power and to wait for the machine to stop moving completely before repairing or adjusting the machine. You risk the possibility of getting hands or clothing caught in or on the PTO or in a moving pulley, belt, or chain while attempting to work on a machine while it is running.
  • Failing to properly block raised implements when working on them.
  • Riders on the implement.
  • Not paying attention when working with the machine.
  • Exposed moving parts (pulleys, PTO’s, cutter bars, shafts, belts, chains, etc.).

Preventing Injury from Implement Usage

  1. Keep all safety shields in place and in good repair. Rotating shafts cause severe injury in a matter of seconds by entangling loose or dangling clothing. Keep a safe distance from all cutting or moving parts.
  2. Implements are not a safe place for riders. Do not allow riders on implements for any reason unless that implement is designed specifically for a person to ride and perform an operation on that implement.
  3. When repairing or working on an implement, make sure it is lowered to the ground. It should be braced or blocked securely if you have to work on it in the raised position.
  4. Always turn off the power source and wait for all moving parts to stop before working on the implement. Take the key with you before working on the machine to prevent others from starting the machine while you are working on it. Select proper speeds for harvesting that will prevent clogging.
  5. Make sure the operator knows how to operate the machine. If the implement requires wider turns, the operator needs to slow down on turns and avoid tight places.
    • Wear proper clothing when working on an implement. Loose fitting clothing can get caught in rotating shafts and PTO’s. Shirts should be tucked into pants and sleeves should be buttoned. Torn, ragged clothing should not be worn as it can be easily caught in moving equipment and belts.
  6. Cutting equipment is very hazardous. Keep a safe distance from all cutting implements.
  7. Make sure all equipment is in good working order. All pins should be in place, all bolts and screws should be tight, and all other parts should be secure and properly adjusted.
  8. Know how high and wide your equipment is. Look up when moving equipment in the yard. Know where power lines are and avoid them. Be aware of buildings, fences, and other obstacles when moving equipment through yards.
  9. When parking equipment, block the wheels so that the machine will not roll. Hydraulically raised equipment should be lowered and should have the transport lock engaged when parked or blocked.
  10. Match the proper tractor for the implement.

Excerpted from Farm Safety Series PNW 512.

Contact the WSU/Cooperative Extension office in your county to get a complete copy.

Compiled by John Fouts. For more information, contact WSU Extension, (509) 477-2048.