Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog

Tractor Safety - Complacency and Other Hazards

Posted by Good Day's Work on Jun 27, 2017
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Tractor Safety

Tractors are among the most used and valued pieces of equipment in agribusiness. Not only are they used every day, they can be used all day long by different workers. It may come to no surprise that tractors are the primary source for most agricultural related fatalities.DSC01721.jpg


  • Overturns
  • Run-overs,
  • Entanglements
  • Highway Collisions  

Accidents involving agricultural tractors kill approximately 250 people a year and are by far the leading cause of death and serious injury in agriculture.  Rollovers account for over half of those fatalities annually. It is estimated that 95% of tractor fatalities could be avoided. 

Complacency Overlooked

Complacency is a lack of vigilance due to familiarity with a task. Once employees have done a job several times, their confidence grows and their attention can lapse resulting in a lack of concentration and foresight. It’s easy to see how workers can go on autopilot and lose focus, especially when you take into account the repetitive nature of the tasks they perform. 

I Know What I’m Doin’

Not only can workers get over-confident in their abilities, they can start to believe accidents won’t happen to them. Common thoughts like, “I’ve done this many times; I know what I’m doing” replace caution and vigilance.  Mowing a steep hillside or ditchbank without rollover protection and your seatbelt fastened because you've done it many times is a perfect example.  Unfortunately, in years like this one with way above average rainfall in many parts of the country could result in washouts, ruts, tree limbs and other hazards that weren't there last year.  Different conditions--different results.

Inherent Hazards of Tractors

There are three inherent hazards that people tend to overlook when it comes to operating tractors. First is the sheer weight of the tractor itself. Whether it’s a roll-over or a run-over situation, it is difficult to grasp the gross weight of the vehicle and extent of the injuries caused by this weight. Second is the speed in which these accidents can happen. The operator's reaction time is no match for how quickly an incident can occur. Third is the massive power of the tractor itself.   The raw power of today's equipment is hard to comprehend, even for a tractor with as little as 20 horsepower. Keeping these three hazards in perspective can provide a new found respect for our production equipment, whether you are a novice or an experienced operator.




Topics: tractors

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