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Testing and creation of a safety system to disengage the PTO of a tractor.

Venem MT; Shutske JM; Gilbert WJ
Appl Eng Agric 2006 Jan; 22(1):5-12
Production agriculture consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous U.S. industries. As a result, significant research has been devoted to reducing the number of agricultural injuries and deaths. This study involved the design and testing of a safety sensor system using off-the-shelf security sensors to detect people in the power take-off (PTO) hazard area between a self-unloading forage wagon and a tractor. A total of 288 tests with four different sensor technologies explored the reliability of human presence security sensors for operator detection. Test data were statistically analyzed to determine how the sensor technology, approach angle, and mounting height affected the distance of a person from the hazard at the time of detection. After sensor tests were completed, a working prototype shut-off system was created to disengage the PTO of a tractor if a person entered the PTO hazard area, causing the PTO to stop rotating. The shut-off system also sounded an audible alarm and initiated flashing of a strobe light after detection, signaling that a person had entered into the PTO hazard area.
Accident-prevention; Accident-statistics; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Analytical-processes; Demographic-characteristics; Engineering; Environmental-hazards; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Farmers; Industrial-engineering; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Personal-protective-equipment; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Qualitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-engineering; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-organization; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Safety; Injury; Sensor; Human presence detection; Entanglement
John M. Shutske, Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, 1390 Eckles Ave, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U07-CCU-507126; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008434
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Performing Organization
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division