Farm equipment is both useful and unwieldy at times, especially when it comes to the commonly used power take-off assistance.

Staying aware of what dangers this machine poses can help keep you and anyone else around farm equipment safe.

What it is

One of the most dangerous aspects of a power take-off (or PTO) powered shaft is that it can easily injure or rip a human limb off before you have a chance to stop the machine. This means drivers must take intense precaution to operate it without error, due to the speed of the rotation.

How it happens

Often, these injuries come from the stubs or drivelines on a tractor. If you are wearing loose clothing or even long pants, you may find that they get caught in the rotation of the machine.

The inner mechanisms of farm machinery are more open than a car or bus engine, so even a second of distraction can lead to serious pain. The drivelines may also come apart if improperly equipped, which can lead to flying projectiles that can hit someone and cause injury.

How to avoid it

Due to the fast and efficient nature of the PTO clutch, the best way to stay safe is to avoid wearing ill-fitting clothing. Using hair ties or hats to keep long hair out of the way is also recommended. In addition, taking care to place safety stickers in easily-viewable spots can help others from making the same mistakes.

If the engine is on, do not try to fix any machinery that has come loose or needs adjusted. Turning sharply or only engaging the equipment gradually when you use it can cause the PTO shaft to become worn out faster.