Two workers on a farm were doing maintenance on a forage harvester in preparation for cutting grass. The harvester, with its chopping or grass head attached, was hooked up to a tractor. One of the workers was in the tractor with the engine idling. The driveline connecting the tractor engine to the harvester—known as a power take-off (PTO)—was rotating. The rotating PTO meant that the chains on the harvester and grass head were also turning. The other worker was spraying grease to lubricate these chains when his coveralls got caught in a small rotating shaft, pulling him around it. The worker suffered serious crushing injuries.
Safe work practices:
- Never work on mobile equipment with the engine running. Before doing maintenance on parts driven by power take-off (PTO) devices—
- Turn off the tractor engine, and
- Remove the key from the ignition, and
- Wait until the PTO driveline has come to a complete stop.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the safe use, maintenance, and repair of harvesters. Never attempt to lubricate any parts—including chains and chain assemblies—while the tractor is running.
- Ensure that shields that guard rotating shafts driven by power take-off devices are kept in place. Shields must not be removed in preparation for maintenance or repair until all parts have come to a complete stop.
WorkSafeBC has a wide range of health and safety information. For assistance and information on workplace health and safety, call toll-free within BC 1-888-621-SAFE (7233) or visit our web site at WorkSafeBC.com.