11% of fatal machinery accidents that occurred in the years 2007-2015 involved P.T.O. Shafts.
A total of four people that lost their lives, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Authority.
Entanglement is the most common form of accident relating to PTO shafts. A total of 21% of fatalities from this timeframe were machinery-related.
That's Farming has summarised a number of helpful guidelines that farmers should take into consideration when dealing with P.T.O. Shafts.
- Familiarise yourself with the operation manual. Be knowledgeable on the content that is contained within;
- Perform machinery checks before you begin operating;
- Have a PTO shaft guard;
- Ensure the PTO can be turned on and off correctly;
- Grease the PTO on a regular basis;
- Turn off the PTO before attempting to intervene with the tractor or any of its accessories, for something common such as the alleviation of a blockage;
- Don’t operate the machine unless it is safe to do so;
- Never wear loose clothing. Overalls and steel toe-cap safety boots have been advised as the best selections when working with machinery;
- A stand should be utilised to support the PTO and guard when it is not in operation;
- As always, allow adequate time to complete a task. Do not rush;
- Seek the expertise of others, if you have the inability to carry out the job yourself.
A number of tips sourced directly from the advice provided by the H.S.A.:
- A machine end, o-guard and the tractor-end u- guard must also be in place. There have suggested that ideally there should be a 5cm overlap between the PTO guard and the u- and o- guards;
- Machinery operators should ensure that the hydraulic arms, drawbar pins or tyres of the tractor do not damage the guard during tight turn;
- The chain or rope at both ends of the PTO guard should be securely clipped to the guard and securely clipped to the tractor or machine to prevent it turning;
- PTO shafts must be totally enclosed by the guard. Make sure that the guard is undamaged and matches the shaft both in length and size.
Peter Gohery, a farm safety ambassador has shared his survivor story with us as he was close to becoming another statistic.
As recent as last week, Peter joined our Editor John, ahead of the start of National Farm Safety Week.