Power take-off injuries are common on farms. The invention of the power take-off (PTO) shaft revolutionized the farming industry in the 1930s and is still widely used today. It efficiently transfers power between a farm tractor and its associated implements by rotating rapidly—up to nine times per second.

While PTO technology dramatically reduces the amount of man power required to conduct farm work, it nonetheless poses an extreme entanglement hazard. Clothing, hair, and limbs that get caught in the PTO shaft often result in severe injury or even death. In fact, PTO accidents are one of the leading causes of farm accidents.

Today we provide a few tips to help prevent PTO injuries:

  • Make sure that all farm equipment has a PTO shield securely in place.
  • Make sure that the PTO shield in good condition. If the shield is damaged, get it repaired before using the equipment.
  • Always turn the PTO shaft off and wait until the parts have stopped moving before stepping over the shaft or dismounting from the tractor.
  • Always turn the PTO shaft off and wait until the parts have stopped moving before conducting any maintenance or repairs on the tractor.
  • Refrain from wearing baggy clothing or anything with loose or dangling pieces that could get caught in the shaft.
  • If you have long hair, pull it out of the way with a hair binder or cap to prevent entanglement in the machinery.

If you have been injured while operating farm equipment, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can be a valuable first step to help you understand your rights and recourse.