The Dangers of the PTO

Posted by robyn

An all too familiar and traumatizing scene transpired on a Michigan farm this past week. A farmer was chopping the remaining corn stubble in the field with a brush hog.  He got off his tractor to check the equipment. This when he reached across the power takeoff (PTO) portion of the brush hog and the PTO grabbed his clothing. The PTO pulled him into the machine where he suffered fatal injuries.

PTO Injuries

Power Takeoff injuries are very common on a farm.  According to the National Agricultural Safety Database, most PTO accidents occur when clothing and/or limbs are entangled in the rotating shaft. This doesn’t mean it is the operator’s fault when an accident occurs. Chances are the manufacturer is to blame.

About the PTO

Power Takeoff (PTO) is a term used to describe the process of transmitting power from one point to another. A PTO shaft, for example, is a cylindrical metal rod that attaches to a power source, such as a tractor, at one end and an attachment, such as a brush hog mower, at the other. When the tractor’s engine is running, power flows along the shaft. The shaft rotates at engine speed, transferring energy from the engine to the attachment. The shaft can rotate at a speed of nine times per second.

Even at low speeds, the Power Takeoff shaft can injure an operator. NEVER step over the PTO shaft.

Manufacturer Responsibility

Even though there are ways to try to minimize Power Takeoff injuries, farm equipment is still unsafe. Designers and manufacturers of farm machinery have an obligation to make sure their products are as safe as possible. This isn’t always the case. Even if you are being as safe as possible, accidents can still occur from defective or unshielded PTO shafts. When this occurs, you may be entitled to compensation.

Manufacturers who design and distribute unsafe PTO shafts should pay you for the losses you suffer due to using them. Contact the Farmer Injury Resource Center today for a completely confidential consultation. We will answer all your questions and try our best to help you and your family recoup the financial losses you have suffered.