Tips for the Safe Use of Tractors

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Two of the largest industries in the United States are construction and agriculture. The market share for the American construction industry makes it the second largest market on the planet. It employs nearly eight million people nationwide. The agriculture industry is active in all 50 states. The United States is the world’s third largest food producer while it leads the planet in food exports. These can also be dangerous industries to work in. This is the reason the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)) has so many rules and regulations on these industries. The good news is that there are things that can be done to improve safety, from using safety equipment that provides roll over protection for tractors to implementing safety policies, workers can be protected.

andnbsp;1. Everyone needs to be properly trained before they can use any equipment.

Everyone has a first time when working with any kind of tool. Even a person has to learn how to use a screwdriver or hammer, for instance. Training is even more essential when you are working with large equipment. There is a reason tractors and cranes come with crane personnel basket and tractor cab enclosures. Workers who do not know how to operate a tractor and are allowed to do so pose serious threats to everyone around them.

andnbsp;2. Get everyone to read the owner’s manual.

That may sound basic and your workers may balk at the idea. Maybe they have used other tractors and think they do not need to go through this step. Different tractors have different features and options. Being totally familiar with the specific roll over protection for tractors that works with the specific piece of equipment will increase the worker’s confidence while using it. As a consequence, when that person is faced with a hard situation they will handle it better. They need to know the location of all of the controls, gauges and other switches by heart so that when they have to use all of that in an emergency situation, everything will go more smoothly than if they have to hunt for everything. They need to get to the point where operating the tractor is done by instinct. Encourage workers to ask questions when they have them.

3. Make sure anyone operating heavy equipment is in up to the job.

When a person is operating any kind of heavy equipment, they need to be 100% present. That means they need to be healthy, well rested and free of any substances that can impair their judgement. The best equipment to provide roll over protection for tractors is useless if the driver falls asleep while operating the machine. It is easy to discount fatigue as a factor in accidents on worksites and elsewhere but it can be very dangerous. Americans have an impeccable work ethic so it is incumbent on employers to not overwork their employees.

4. Use your equipment only for the purposes it was made to do.

Most equipment is made for specific jobs and projects. A farm tractor is meant to be used for specific things around a farm. If you try to use it for other purposes, you can run into real problems. Roll over protection systems can only do so much but if you try to use it to round up your cattle problems may ensue. Not all equipment can handle rough terrain or make sharp turns.
Make sure your tractor is in good condition.

5. Do safety checks.

You can do a quick safety check on your tractor before you let anyone operate it. This inspection should include the tires, seat position, windows, brakes, seat belts, mirrors and all of the general systems that are needed for proper operation of the tractor during the day and night.

andnbsp;Walk around the tractor and check for problems.If, for example, the back wheels are stuck in the mud or frozen in place, starting the tractor can cause it to flip over (backwards). Check for any obstacles and clear them before you try to start the tractor.

Operating a tractor does not have to be dangerous. Having the right roll over protection for tractors is a good start but using common sense is another. By taking some precautions, you will protect your workers and your bottom line.

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