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A qualitative analysis of power take-off driveline shields: barriers and motivators to shield use for New York State farmers.

Weil R; Mellors P; Fiske T; Sorensen JA
J Agric Saf Health 2014 Jan; 20(1):51-61
Machinery entanglements are one of the top three causes of death in farming. Education on the risks of unshielded power take-off (PTO) equipment does not appear to significantly alter farmers' willingness to replace missing or broken shielding. Different assessments conducted in various regions of the U.S. indicate that as many as one-third to one-half of PTOs are inadequately shielded. Qualitative research was conducted with New York farmers to identify the factors that influence the decision to replace damaged or missing PTO driveline shields. Interview topics included: knowledge of entanglement risks, decisions regarding safety in general, decisions relating to PTO driveline shielding specifically, and the barriers and motivators to replacing missing or broken PTO driveline shields. Interviews with 38 farmers revealed the following themes: (1) farmers are fully aware of PTO entanglement risk, (2) insufficient time and money are primary barriers to purchasing or replacing damaged or missing PTO driveline shields, (3) PTO driveline shield designs are problematic and have led to negative experiences with shielding, and (4) risk acceptance and alternate work strategies are preferred alternatives to replacing shields. Our findings indicate that more innovative approaches will be required to make PTO driveline shield use a viable and attractive choice for farmers. New shield designs that address the practical barriers farmers face, as well as the provision of logistical and financial assistance for shield replacement, may alter the decision environment sufficiently to make replacing PTO driveline shielding a more attractive option for farmers.
Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Machine-operation; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Humans; Men; Women; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Author Keywords: Driveline shield; Machinery entanglement; Power take-off; PTO; Qualitative research; Risk perception; Safety
Rebecca Weil, NYCAMH, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007542; M052014
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, New York
Page last reviewed: July 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division