Power take-offs and power take-off drive shaftsDate of publication:2013ISBN:N/ASeries code:AIS40
This revised leaflet was previously published in the Agriculture Safety series as AS24. It is aimed at all users of PTO-driven equipment.
Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO drive shafts. Most of these accidents are preventable.
This leaflet outlines how to choose, fit and maintain guards safely.
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A tractor power take-off (PTO) and the power take-off drive shaft of a machine are very dangerous if used and not correctly guarded. Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO drive shafts. Most of these accidents are preventable if the PTO and PTO drive shaft are fitted with guards of good design which are properly used and maintained. Note: Broken, damaged or badly fitting guards can be just as dangerous as no guard at all. This leaflet is aimed at all users of PTO-driven equipment.
A 26-year-old stockman was adapting the pump unit of a slurry tanker to provide vacuum drive to a milking unit. On stepping over the partially unguarded PTO shaft his left trouser leg became entangled in the revolving PTO, resulting in his leg being severed.
■ Protect the tractor PTO with a shield covering the top and both sides of the PTO so that it stops anyone making contact with it, either with parts of their body or their clothes. Make sure this shield is well constructed and capable of supporting a downward load of at least 120 kg. When the PTO is not in use, it may be covered by a fixed cap.
■ Guard PTO drive shafts by enclosing them along their full length, from the tractor to the first bearing on the machine.
■ Advice on guard dimensions and design specifications for agricultural PTO drive shaft guards is given in: – BS EN 12965:2003+A2:2009 Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. Power take-off (PTO) drive shafts and their guards. Safety – BS EN ISO 5674:2009 Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. Guards for power take-off (PTO) drive shafts. Strength and wear tests and acceptance criteria See HSE web pages ‘Work equipment and machinery’ for more information: www.hse.gov.uk/workequipment-machinery/index.htm.
Choosing and fitting a guard
■ Replacement PTO drive shaft guards sold individually must be CE marked and accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity unless sold as an identical spare part supplied by the manufacturer of the original machinery.
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