It’s summertime and that means two things on the farm: kids are out of school and the farm tractors are in full use. Annually, 300 to 400 tractor-related deaths occur on U.S. farms. Over 50% of tractor-related deaths are caused by tractor rollovers. Many involve children and teenagers, often either riding as a passenger or as an inexperienced operator. Be sure your tractor is equipped with a rollover protection structure (ROPS) and always wear your seat belt. Passengers account for approximately 25% of tractor-related deaths. Children should never be allowed to ride as passengers on tractors or implements being pulled—NO EXCEPTIONS! Remember, tractors are not child’s play. Children should never be allowed to play on tractors. Make sure that visiting children also know the rules. Power takeoff shafts (PTO) are another very dangerous component of a tractor. Never allow children to get near a PTO shaft. Always have a PTO protection cover in place, and never dismount a tractor while the the tractor is running and the PTO engaged. Have a great summer and please be safe.
Statistics and information courtesy of The Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety, Utah State University Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University Extension, and The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety