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Tractors and Powered Agricultural Machinery

  • before using a tractor check that brakes, tyres, steering and lighting are in good working order;
  • see that all guards are in place and that all windows are clean and unobstructed;
  • before starting check that the tractor and power take-off (PTO) are out of gear;
  • never start an engine or operate hydraulic controls unless you are in the driving seat and know that it is safe to do so;
  • before making any adjustments disengage the PTO and hydraulics, stop the engine and apply the parking brake;
  • never operate the tractor unless the PTO is guarded by a shield or cover;
  • never operate a PTO shaft unless it is fully enclosed in a guard;
  • keep all footplates, steps, driving platforms and pedals free from mud and loose equipment, make sure that your boots are suitably clean before mounting the tractor;
  • use independent steering brakes only at low speeds - otherwise make sure that independent brakes are properly coupled together and evenly balanced before driving on a road;
  • never allow children to ride on or be near to a moving tractor or implement;
  • do not use a tractor in a way which is likely to make it overturn - travelling too fast, turning at high speed, driving along steep slopes and towing from a point above the centre line of the rear axle are common causes of overturning accidents;
  • if a tractor fitted with a safety cab overturns, sit tight and stop the engine; if you try to jump clear you may be injured or killed;
  • Passengers may only be carried in tractors on seating that is suitable, safe and complies with all applicable legislation ; and
  • Passengers may only be carried in trailers on seating that is suitable, safe and complies with all applicable legislation based on a formal risk assessment.
  • More detailed advice on power take-off (PTO) is provided in HSE Leaflet AS24 (rev 1).