Preventing Falls and Runovers
Falling off the tractor and being runover, either by the tractor or the implement being pulled, account for about a third of fatal and serious injuries involving tractors.
Causes of Falls and Runovers
- Being thrown off the operator seat when the tractor hits a hole, stump, or ditch.
- Extra Riders
- “Jump” starting the tractor when standing beside it.
- Trying to mount or dismount when the tractor is moving.
- Slipping on the steps or platform when mounting or dismounting.
- Leaving the deck of the machine cluttered with tools and other items.
- Riding on the tongue or any part of the implement being towed.
- The operator not aware of where others are when the machine is started and put in motion.
- Leaving the parking brake off when parking the tractor especially on a slope.
- Poor maintenance of brakes and clutches.
- An operator’s foot slipping off the clutch when hitching implements or working on the machine.
- Poorly trained and physically unfit operators.
Prevention Falls and Runovers
- Never bypass the safety start systems that do not allow the tractor to start in gear without depressing the clutch. When jump-starting a tractor, always connect cables to the battery and not the starter so as not to bypass the safety start system.
- Do not allow extra riders. The ONLY time extra riders should be allowed is for training purposes.
- Slow down on rough ground or where hidden obstacles might be encountered.
- When going into a strange field or one that you have not been in for a while, stop and shut off the tractor and walk over potential problem areas.
- Never try to mount or dismount a tractor or machine when it is moving. Keep platforms dry.
- Always shut off the engine and apply the parking brake before dismounting the tractor.
- Operators should take frequent rest breaks to maintain alertness.
- Always start the tractor from the operator’s seat.
- Train all operators thoroughly.
- Maintain equipment in top operating condition.
- Install ROPS (Roll Over Protective Structure), and seat belts! However if your tractor does not have ROPS, do not wear a seat belt!
- Never ride on the implement, especially on the tongue.
Compiled by John Fouts. For more infromation, contact WSU Extension, (509) 477-2048.