AgSafety4u Certificate Course

AgSafety4U is a joint effort between the University of Nebraska, Pennsylvania State University, and the Ohio State University who recognized the need for formalized agricultural safety and health education for agricultural workers, has developed an online certificate course that provides an overview of the hazards common to farms and rural agricultural businesses. The course offers a general outline of the measures agricultural workers can take to identify and control such hazards.

AgSafety4u is an online course designed for youth, new and beginning farmers, and for employers and employees of agricultural operations looking to enhance their knowledge and/or to provide professional development with a heavy emphasis on tractor and machinery.  Individuals who take this course and pass the online quizzes will be able to print a certificate of completion.

This program can be used for the classroom portion of the Hazardous Occupations Order for Agriculture (HOOA) safety certification program for youth 14 and 15 years of age who are seeking employment and must be certified to drive or operate tractors and machinery for hire. Additional hands-on training is required for issuing a US DOL certificate.

Website Link

Click HERE to register for the AgSafety4u certificate course.

Click HERE to purchase bulk class enrollments.

Cost

The certificate course costs $10.00 per person. Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

Target Audience

The certificate course was developed for agricultural employees, employers, and other rural workers.

Learning Objectives and Goals

The AgSafety4u certificate course organizes training in six modules, each of which focuses on a particular subject area.

Module 1: Introduction

The introductory module provides an overview of agriculture, types of risks, and regulations related to safety and health.

Module 2: Safety Basics

This module provides information on the following topics:

  • Injuries involving youth
  • Age-appropriate tasks for youth
  • Appropriate clothing for working on the farm
  • Hazard warning signs
  • Hand signals
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • First aid basics

Module 3: Agricultural Hazards

This module outlines information on the following topics:

  • Mechanical hazards and associated safety considerations
  • Animals
  • Agricultural pesticides
  • Electrical hazards
  • Confined spaces, silos, grain bins, and manure storage areas
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Farmstead chemicals

Module 4: The Tractor

This module includes the following topics:

  • Tractor types
  • Tractor hazards
  • Guidelines for age-appropriate tasks for children and youth
  • Tractor instrument panels
  • Tractor controls (stop engine, ground motion, power engagement, and positioning and adjusting)
  • Operation symbols and the location and movement of tractor controls
  • Preventative maintenance and pre-operation checks
  • Jumper cables
  • Tractor stability
  • Lighting and marking

The module also addresses the following activities:

  • Starting and stopping diesel and gasoline engines
  • Mounting and dismounting and starting and stopping a tractor
  • Moving and steering a tractor
  • Operating a tractor in reverse
  • Using a tractor safely
  • Operating a tractor on public roads

Module 5: Connecting and Using Implements with the Tractor

This module provides information on the following topics:

  • Connecting implements to a tractor
  • Using draw bar implements
  • Using three-point hitch implements
  • Making power take-off (PTO) connections
  • Using PTO implements
  • Using implements with hydraulic components
  • Using implements with electrical connections

Module 6: Materials Handling

This module covers the use of the following vehicles:

  • Skid steers
  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • Utility vehicles

Evaluation

Participants must complete an online quiz at the end of each module. Once a score of at least 70% is achieved on each module, the participant will be issued a digital certificate and badge.

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (has since retired)
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

Increasing the Visibility of Agricultural Equipment on Public Roadways


Use the following format to cite this article:

Increasing the Visibility of Agricultural Equipment on Public Roadways. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/65225/increasing-the-visibility-of-agricu….

 

You must be extremely cautious when moving agricultural equipment on public roadways. Tractors and agricultural implements typically travel on roadways at speeds of less than 25 mph. Other motor vehicles travel at faster speeds, and many motorists do not realize the amount of braking time necessary to avoid rear-end collisions. 

To reduce the risk of such collisions, state motor vehicle regulations require that agricultural equipment on public roadways be highly visible to motor vehicles approaching from behind. Your farm equipment should be visible to other motorists from the greatest possible distance so that they will have ample time to slow down.

To increase the visibility of your agricultural equipment, you can use slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems, as well as marking accessories and fully functioning lighting. Although lighting and marking accessories are necessary anytime you have equipment on a public road, they are especially important 30 minutes before sundown or 30 minutes after sunrise. For added safety on narrow roads, you may consider having an escort vehicle drive in front of you. On winding roads, you may wish to have an escort drive behind you. 

SMV Emblem

SMV

SMV

(Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

An SMV emblem is a highly reflective sign that should be placed on the back of all tractors, towed implements, and self-propelled implements. It is an equilateral triangle at least 14 in. in height, made from a fluorescent orange material (which provides visibility during the day) and bordered by red retroreflective material (which provides visibility at night). 

Laws concerning SMV emblems vary by state—most states require SMV emblems on all implements of husbandry (agricultural machinery) traveling at speeds of less than 25 mph. Farmers and ranchers are responsible for the proper use and maintenance of SMV emblems. Check the laws in your state for specific regulations.

The placement of an SMV emblem is critical to its effectiveness. Adhere to the following guidelines when affixing an SMV emblem:

  • Place the emblem at the rear of the vehicle or implement, with the triangle pointing upwards.
  • As much as possible, center the emblem horizontally on the vehicle.
  • Make sure the bottom edge of the triangle is from 2 to 10 ft. above the ground. 

An SMV emblem can become covered with dirt; over time, it can fade due to sun exposure. To maintain the best reflective properties, regularly clean and replace SMV emblems. 

The only appropriate use of an SMV emblem is to increase the visibility of agricultural equipment traveling on public roadways. Do not use an SMV emblem for any other purpose (such as marking a driveway).

Speed Indicator Symbol

SIS Emblem

SIS Emblem

(Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

Some tractors can travel faster than 25 mph. Mount a speed indicator symbol (SIS) on the rear of such tractors to indicate their maximum speed. Some states are now debating amending the SMV regulations to encompass faster tractors. Your state’s farm bureau can provide updates about such efforts.

Reflective Tape and Lighting

Puma 150 Tractor with RB565 Round Baler from Case IH Media Library

Puma 150 Tractor with RB565 Round Baler. Photo Source: Case IH.

The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) has developed guidelines and recommendations for lighting and marking farm equipment for roadway travel. The lists below summarize the most important recommendations for increasing the visibility of self-propelled and towed equipment.

Self-Propelled Equipment

  • Headlamps and taillights: Equipment should have two headlamps and two taillights. At each end of the equipment, the lights should be mounted at the same height and spaced as far apart as possible on either side of the center line of the equipment.
  • Work lamps: Equipment should have work lamps, but rear-facing work lamps should not be used while on roadways.
  • Warning lights: Any vehicle or towed equipment with a width of 12 ft. or more should have flashing amber lights located on its sides. The lights should flash in unison at a rate of 60 to 85 flashes per minute.
  • Turn indicators: Equipment should have turn indicators in addition to red taillights.
  • 7-terminal receptacle: Any tractor or truck used for towing should be equipped with a 7-terminal receptacle to power lights on a trailing piece of equipment.

Towed Equipment

  • Rear reflectors: The widest part of the rear extremities of the equipment should be outfitted with red reflectors to ensure visibility from up to 600 ft. behind the equipment.
  • Front reflectors: The front left and right sides of the equipment should have yellow reflectors.
  • Reflective and fluorescent (conspicuous) material: Equipment should be marked with a combination of reflective and fluorescent material. Yellow conspicuous material should be used in the front, and red-orange reflective material should be used to outline the back.
  • SMV emblem: An ASAE-approved SMV emblem should be attached at the center, or slightly to the left of the center, of the back of the equipment.
 
 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Increasing the Visibility of Agricultural Equipment on Public Roadways. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/65225/increasing-the-visibility-of-agricu….

 

Sources

Agricultural equipment on public roads. (2009) Committee on Agricultural Safety and Health Research and Extension. Retrieved fromhttp://nasdonline.org/static_content/documents/2065/d001906.pdf.

Hallman, E. and Abend, E. (2005) Roadway safety: Lighting & marking of agricultural equipment. Cornell Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from http://nasdonline.org/1878/d001821/roadway-safety-lighting-and-marking-o….

Hanna, M., Schwab, C., and Miller, L. (2000) A new look for farm safety: Reflective and fluorescent tape. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Retrieved from https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=758.

Legault, M. (2002) National farm safety and health week… Not just for farmers anymore part II. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Retrieved from http://nasdonline.org/document/201/d000149/farm-safety-and-health-week-not-just-for.html.  

Petrea, R. (n.d.) Forage harvesting safety. University of Illinois Extension. Retrieved from http://web.extension.illinois.edu/agsafety/factsheets/fhs.cfm.

 

Contributor, Reviewers and Summarized by:                       
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University  lmf8@psu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University  djm13@psu.edu
William C. Harshman, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Charles V. Schwab, Iowa State University – cvschwab@iastate.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

Hydraulic Safety


Use the following format to cite this article:

Hydraulic safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64565/hydraulic-safety.

Hydraulic systems on agricultural equipment are used to complete such maneuvers as lifting the buckets on skid steers or adjusting the position of combine headers. Hydraulic fluid moves through very small openings within an operating system, and it is under tremendous pressure that can exceed 2,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Some newer and larger pieces of equipment have hydraulic systems with pressures that exceed 3,000 psi. (Running water from a household faucet typically measures 40 psi.)

Hazards

Hydraulic systems and hydraulic fluid can be hazardous to workers in several common scenarios.

Improper Couplings

Never mix low- and high-pressure coupler components (that is, do not connect a low-pressure component to a high-pressure system). Mismatched componenets may cause a rupture in a hose or fitting.

Pinhole Leaks

Never use your hand to locate a leak in a hydraulic line. Because hydraulic fluid—often oil—is highly pressurized, compressed fluid released through a leak can penetrate the skin or eyes, causing severe injury, such as gangrene. Injection injuries from high-pressure hydraulic fluid require immediate medical care.

When trying to locate a leak in a hydraulic line, wear eye protection and gloves. Run a piece of paper, wood, cardboard, or Plexiglas along the hydraulic line (as shown below) to determine the location of the leak. Always relieve the hydraulic pressure in an operating system before detaching or attaching a hydraulic line to make necessary repairs.

Hydraulic Check with Plexiglass

(Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

Component Removal or Adjustment

Release the hydraulic pressure in an operating system prior to removing or adjusting components. The hot fluid in the system is under extreme pressure. If a worker is exposed to hydraulic fluid while removing or adjusting components, he or she may sustain burns, bruises, cuts, abrasions, or injection of fluid into the skin.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance is critical for all types of machinery and equipment, but it is imperative that you follow proper safety measures when performing maintenance.

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when performing maintenance on hydraulic systems, including gloves and eye protection.
  • Do not rely solely on the hydraulic lift if you must work on hydraulic components with the system raised. Set the working unit on blocks as a precautionary measure.
  • Unless you are bleeding the hydraulic system, do not run the machine engine when you are servicing the system.
  • Hydraulic fluid can be extremely hot and can cause severe burns, so let the hydraulic system cool before changing lines, connections, filters, or fittings.
Bad Hydraulic Hose

Bad Hydraulic Hose

(Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

 

  • Regularly examine the hydraulic lines for leaks and wear (as shown above). 
  • Coat the cylinder rods with a lubricant that provides rust protection.
  • Periodically replace filters, and keep hydraulic oil away from contaminants; dirt is the biggest culprit in hydraulic system damage.
  • Before removing the cylinders from working units, make sure that the units are resting on the ground, safety stands, or safety blocks and that the engine is shut off.
  • Use a chain hoist, floor jack, or other type of assistive device if you need to remove heavy hydraulic pumps or control valves.

Safe Operating Procedures

Follow these recommendations when using equipment with hydraulic systems:

  • Before leaving the machine, lower the hydraulic work unit to the ground and relieve hydraulic pressure by moving the control valve back and forth several times.
  • Park the machine in an area where children are unlikely to come into contact with it.
  • To keep the machine in place during transportation, lock the cylinder stops.
  • Use cylinder stops, locks, or blocks for raised equipment or components when servicing hydraulic components or performing maintenance.
  • To reduce the risk of escaping oil, make sure all the line connections within the system are tight.
  • Use a nonvolatile cleaning solution when washing parts.
  • Keep hydraulics properly adjusted for better control of the machine.

 

 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Hydraulic safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64565/hydraulic-safety.

Sources

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). (2008) ASAE S489 Hydraulic pressure available on agricultural tractors for remote use with implements. St. Joseph, MI. Retrieved from https://elibrary.asabe.org/.

Ayers, P. (n.d.) Hydraulic systems safety. Colorado State University Extension. Retrieved from http://nasdonline.org/static_content/documents/1100/d000891.pdf.

Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., and Murphy, D. (2012) Implements with hydraulic components: HOSTA Task Sheet 5.5. Pennsylvania State University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/NSTMOP%20Task%20Sheets%20Se….

Safe use of hydraulic systems. (2006) The Ohio State University Extension, Tailgate Safety Training for Landscaping and Horticultural Services. Retrieved from http://nasdonline.org/139/d001703/safe-use-of-hydraulic-systems.html.

Safety management for landscapers, grounds-care businesses and golf courses (1st ed.). (2001) Moline, IL: John Deere Publishing.

 
Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
William C. Harshman, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Jason Lamm, Donegal Insurance Group  jgl134@gmail.com
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

Skid Steer Safety

Use the following format to cite this article:

Skid Steer Safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64425/skid-steer-safety.  

 

A skid steer is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on a farm or ranch because it is designed to maneuver easily in tight spaces and has a variety of attachments to complete multiple jobs. Injuries from skid steer incidents can be extremely severe and include amputations, crushing injuries, mangled limbs, and death. Operators may recognize specific hazards but often fail to consider secondary factors, such as ice, mud, and slick work areas, that may increase the risk of an incident.

The most common types of incidents from skid steer usage include:

  • running over bystanders, including children or the operator
  • entrapment or crushing, which can happen when the operator or helper is caught between an attachment and the frame of the skid steer
  • entrapment of the operator when a load rolls or drops onto him or her while he or she is in the operator station
  • rollover, which can occur when the skid steer is operated on a steep slope or uneven terrain
  • tipping of the skid steer due to a heavy load or attachment in the front
  • falls while improperly mounting or dismounting the skid steer
  • injection injuries caused when pressurized hydraulic fluid is injected into a person’s body
  • crushing or pinching injuries to hands and fingers as a result of improper hooking and unhooking of an attachment

Center of Gravity

Case IH Skid Steer

Photo Source: CASE Construction Equipment/CASE IH

The center of gravity for a skid steer constantly shifts depending on the job and attachment. Typically, the weight of the skid steer is concentrated at the rear of the machine between the wheels. However, weight at the front of the skid steer, as when moving items with a bucket or an attachment, shifts the center of gravity forward and higher.

Precautions

  • When you are carrying a load, whether in the bucket or an attachment, carry the load low to maintain a lower center of gravity and to increase stability and improve visibility.
  • When traveling uphill, remember to keep the heavy part of the machine and load pointed uphill.
  • If you have an empty bucket, you should back up a hill, but if the bucket is full, drive forward up the hill.
  • Recommended travel for a skid steer is up and down a slope rather than across.

Recommended Safety Features

The “zone of protection” on a skid steer includes the rollover protective structure (ROPS), a falling object protective structure (FOPS), side screens, and an operator restraint. All of these features are meant to reduce the risk of operator injury or death. The ROPS protects the operator in the event of an overturn, and the FOPS provides protection from objects that fall on top of the operator cab. Side screens are designed to protect the operator from being caught between the lift arms and the skid steer frame and to keep protrusions (e.g., limbs) from striking the operator. When the seat belt or seat-bar restraint is used, the operator remains securely in the operator seat. If your skid steer is an older model, contact your local dealer to discuss the possibility of retrofitting your skid steer with these safety features.

Some skid loaders used on farms or ranches may not have reverse signal alarms and beacon lights. However, these safety features can be installed after-market. These features provide notice of your skid steer movement to other workers in the area, possibly preventing a run-over or pinning incident.

Interlocks and Attachments

An interlock device is an electrical or hydraulic system lock that is tied in to the operator restraint system to mechanically lock the lift arms. Never disable this interlock, and require everyone to use it, because it prevents the engine from starting or they hydraulics from engaging if the operator restraint is not properly fastened or positioned. To avoid the potential risk of a crushing injury, ensure that all operators engage the hydraulic cylinder lift-arm lockout device when the boom is in the upright position for any repairs or maintenance. The lockout can be engaged from inside or outside the operator’s cab and should be inspected regularly to maintain proper operation.

A farmer or rancher may change attachments on the skid steer multiple times per day to complete different tasks. The safest way to secure the attachments to the skid loader is to turn off the skid loader, properly exit the machine, and secure the locking levers. If another person plans to secure the locking lever, you still must shut off the machine to avoid the potential risk of an injury to the helper.

All skid steer operators should be trained to properly secure the locking levers. If the locking levers are not properly locked, the attachment can become unfastened while in use or when the arms are raised, posing a risk to the operator and other workers.

Hydraulic System

The hydraulic pressure system, which often exceeds 2,000 psi, is an often overlooked hazard. Hydraulic hoses can develop pinhole leaks. Never use your hands to search for a leak because hydraulic oil injected into a person’s skin requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Amputation of a hand or an arm may result from lack of medical attention. The recommended method is to use a piece of cardboard or mirror to pass over the suspected leak.

Fix all leaks immediately, but remember that hydraulic hoses and fittings can be hot enough to cause burns. Sense for excessive heat by placing your gloved hand near the component.

When connecting hydraulic hoses, they should be routed to avoid pinching of the hose between the lift arms and the bucket or attachment.

Always shut down the skid steer and relieve the system pressure before connecting or disconnecting hoses.

Personal Protective Equipment

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a necessary part of your safety plan for your farm or ranch. Anyone operating a skid steer should wear a bump cap or hard hat, steel-toed shoes, long pants, and gloves. Depending on the job and the machine, hearing and eye protection may also be necessary. Eye protection should be worn when checking hydraulic hoses and connections or any other components that generate the potential for flying particles or sprayed or splashed liquids. 

Operating a Skid Steer

  • If you must operate a skid steer inside a building, increase the ventilation by opening doors and windows and using exhaust fans to reduce exposure to exhaust fumes. Shut off the machine and take frequent breaks outside the building.
  • Do not allow riders anywhere on the skid steer (e.g., in the bucket, on the operator’s lap, and so on). Skid steers are a one-person machine.
  • Read, understand, and follow recommendations in the manufacturer’s owner’s manual for your skid steer.
  • Never bypass or modify safety devices.
  • Know your blind spots because in those blind spots could be people, vehicles, equipment, or buildings.
  • Never swing, lift, or move a load over a person.
  • Wear snug-fitting clothing that will not catch on levers.
  • Always keep your hands, arms, legs, and head inside the operator’s cab during operation.
  • Learn and use standard hand signals. Click here to access “Use of Hand Signals in Production Agriculture” for more information about hand signals.
  • Learn to operate the skid steer smoothly and to position yourself where you will not inadvertently bump levers.
  • Provide safety training to all skid steer operators at your farm or ranch. Require that they follow standard operating procedures.
  • Know the material you are loading, and remember that some objects can roll back into the operator’s cab.
  • To reduce the risk of a fall, always use the three-point method to enter and exit the skid steer. Two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet should always be in contact with the machine. Remember to use footpads and handholds and to keep the steps, pedals, and floor clean of slippery substances.
  • Never use drugs, alcohol, or medication while operating a skid steer as these can impair your ability to operate and react.
  • When transporting a skid steer, always use tie-down attachments to secure it to the trailer.
  • When finished with a skid steer, park it with the bucket or attachment lowered to the ground.
  • When possible, avoid operating a skid steer on slopes, ditches, or embankments.
  • Check your work areas for obstacles to smooth operation prior to beginning your job.
  • Look up and determine whether there are overhead utility wires near your work area.
  • If you are digging, know where underground utilities are located.
  • Avoid working near a pile of material, such as a large silage pile, or an embankment that is higher than the operator’s station. A collapse of the material could result in being buried.
  • Use counterweights as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure a balanced skid steer.
  • Make sure that the seat and floor of the operator’s cab are clear of objects so that nothing can roll beneath foot controls and interfere with machine operation.
  • Decrease speed when driving over rough terrain.

For an overview of skid steer safety, watch the following video from Bobcat:

 

 

 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Skid Steer Safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64425/skid-steer-safety.  

 

Sources

Ebert, K., Ricketts, M., & Lind, S. (2006) Skid steer loader safety. Kansas State University Research and Extension. Retrieved from http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF2711.pdf.

Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., & Murphy, D. (2011) Skid steers. HOSTA Task Sheet 6.1. National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Retrieved from http://articles.extension.org/sites/default/files/Version%203.%20January….

Murphy, D. & Harshman, W. (2015) Skid-steer safety for farm and landscape. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from https://extension.psu.edu/skid-steer-safety-for-farm-and-landscape.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing injuries and deaths from skid-steer loaders. (2010). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-128/pdfs/2011-128.pdf.

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Glen Blahey Canadian Agricultural Safety Association gblahey@casa.acsa.ca
LaMar Grafft East Carolina University grafftl@ecu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu
 

 

Mechanical Hazards: Freewheeling Parts

Free Wheeling Hazard

(Source: The Ohio State University Extension)

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Mechanical hazards: Freewheeling parts. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64419/mechanical-hazards:-freewheeling-parts.

 

Freewheeling parts are parts of a machine that continue to move even after power to the machine has been turned off. Freewheeling parts continue to move because some machines require large amounts of rotational energy to operate smoothly in varying conditions, and the freewheeling parts cannot come to an abrupt stop without the application of a braking system of some type. The heavier the rotating part, the faster and longer it will continue to rotate or move after the power is shut off.

Examples of freewheeling parts include:

  • flywheels on small square balers
  • rotary mower blades
  • cutter heads of forage harvesters
  • hammer mills of feed grinders
  • fans on silage blowers

Potential injuries from freewheeling parts include:

  • cuts
  • abrasions
  • bruises
  • entanglement
  • crushing
  • amputations

Safety Precautions When Working around Freewheeling Parts

You can reduce your risk of an incident by adhering to the following safety precautions:

  • Be aware of any freewheeling parts on your equipment and keep guards and shields in place.
  • Before carrying out any activity in proximity to a freewheeling part:
    • shut off the tractor,
    • disengage the power take-off (PTO), and
    • wait for the freewheeling part to come to a complete stop.
  • Never touch a freewheeling part while it is moving, even if it is moving very slowly.
  • Listen to the freewheeling part—most freewheeling parts make a whirring or humming sound when they are rotating.

Resources

View the video about freewheeling parts from the Pennsylvania State University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program.

 
 
 

Use the following format to cite this article:

 

Mechanical hazards: Freewheeling parts. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64419/mechanical-hazards:-freewheeling-parts.

 

 

Sources

Agricultural equipment and machine hazards. (2016) The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha/ag-equipment-machine-hazards.

Cyr, D. and Johnson, S. (n.d.) Dangers of agricultural machinery. Maine Farm Safety Program. Retrieved from http://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2316e/.

Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., and Murphy, D. (2011) Mechanical hazards: HOSTA Task Sheet 3.1. Pennsylvania State University Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. Retrieved from http://articles.extension.org/sites/default/files/Version%203.%20January….

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Glen Blahey, Canadian Agricultural Safety Association  GBlahey@casa-acsa.ca
Willard Downs, University of Missouri  Willard@missouri.edu
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

Safety Checklists for Used Farm Equipment

Ford New Holland Tractor

New Holland Tractor with ROPS

(Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Safety checklists for used farm equipment. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64392/safety-checklists-for-used-farm-equipment.  

 

Purchasing used equipment may be a cost-effective option for adding or replacing equipment on your farm or ranch. Before you make an investment in used equipment, however, you should consider the following questions:

  • Is there any reason that you should consider new rather than used equipment?
  • Is there a new model available that has beneficial safety features or updated technology? 
  • Does your lending agency have any special stipulations or requirements, such as appraisals, that make buying used equipment less cost-effective or feasible?
  • Does the used equipment meet the requirements—horsepower, towing capability, and so on—of the jobs that you need to complete?
  • How many hours have been logged on the equipment, and what is the typical “wear-out” life for the particular piece of equipment? (See table 1 for typical wear-out life, in hours, for different types of agricultural equipment.) 
Table 1. Machinery Wear-Out Life in Hours
Machinery Wear-Out Life (hours)
Tractors 12,000
Crawlers 16,000
Combines 2,000
Cotton pickers 2,000
Drills 1,000
Planters 1,000
Plows 2,000
Swathers 2,000
Tillage equipment 2,000

Source: Table provided by Dr. Jim Rumsey, Lecturer, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University California, Davis.

Used equipment can be cost-effective, but before purchasing used equipment, it is extremely important that you examine the equipment and consider factors such as affordability, dependability, safety, usability, and compatibility before making a final decision.

Resources

The following links provide additional information, including safety checklists, to consider as you decide whether to buy a piece of used equipment:

 
 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Safety checklists for used farm equipment. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64392/safety-checklists-for-used-farm-equipment

 

 

Citations

Jarrett, V. (n.d.) Buying a used farm machine: Farm machinery fact sheet FM-02. Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from  http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FM-02.pdf.

Jarret, V. (n.d.) Checklist for Used Tractors: farm machinery fact sheet FM-04. Utah State University. Retrieved from http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FM-04.pdf.

Rumsey, J. (1998) Small farm news fall 1998. UC Small Farm Program. Retrieved from http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/pubs/SFNews/Fall98/farmequip/.

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Glen Blahey, Canadian Agricultural Safety Association  gblahey@casa.acsa.ca
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University  lmf8@psu.edu
William Harshman, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University  djm13@psu.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

 

ATV Safety for Agricultural Producers


Use the following format to cite this article:

ATV Safety for Agricultural Producers. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64338/atv-safety-for-agricultural-producers.

 

Farmers and ranchers in all parts of the country rely on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to complete a variety of jobs related to production agriculture. Manufacturers continue to identify new applications and develop pull-behind attachments to increase the versatility and usefulness of ATVs.

Despite their usefulness, ATVs remain a source of problematic incidents on farms and ranches. In the United States in 2014, ATV accidents resulted in 93.700 emergency department treated injuries and 385 deaths (Consumer Product Safety Commission). To reduce the risk of an ATV-related injury or death, take the following precautions:

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Participate in certified safety training.
  • Maintain your ATV in proper working condition.
  • Practice safe operating procedures.
  • Follow safety recommendations from:
    • the ATV’s manufacturer and
    • organizations that address safety in production agriculture, such as Cooperative Extension programs at land-grant universities.

Protective Gear for ATV Operators

The most important piece of PPE for an operator is a helmet. Observe the following guidelines when selecting and wearing a helmet for ATV use:

  • Select a helmet that is the correct size for the operator.
  • To ensure that a helmet has been safety-tested, select a helmet approved for ATV use by:
    • the American National Standards Institute (ANSI),
    • the U.S. Department of Transportation, or
    • the Snell Memorial Foundation. 
  • If the helmet is not equipped with a face shield, wear ANSI-approved goggles or glasses with hard-coated polycarbonate lenses

When operating an ATV, you should also wear:

  • gloves,
  • boots,
  • a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and
  • long pants.

When using an ATV during the application of pesticides, follow the PPE recommendations on the applicator’s label because you will be in close proximity to the applicator’s spray nozzle and the treated material.

Safety Training

The ideal setting for learning about ATV safety and operation is an approved safety training program. The website ATVsafety.org provides:

  • safety information,
  • text of legislation regarding ATV use,
  • state-specific information about ATV regulations, and
  • contact information for ATV safety training programs for adults and teens.

Click here to be directed to ATVsafety.gov to locate a safety training program in your area.  

ATV Maintenance

Properly maintaining your ATV and executing a checklist before riding can minimize your risk of injury and decrease the possibility of being stranded due to engine malfunction. Check the following items before riding your ATV:

  • Tires: Uneven air pressure in the tires can cause your ATV to pull in the direction of the tire with the least amount of air pressure.

    • Always maintain the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure in each tire.  
    • To check air pressure, use a specialized air-pressure gauge designed for ATV tires.
    • Make sure that all nuts and bolts are tightly secured on the tires and use a cotter pin when necessary.
  • Throttle

    • Check the throttle by moving the handlebars from left to right.
      • The handlebars should move smoothly.
      • There should be no mud or dirt restricting proper movement. 
  • Brakes

    • Check the brakes before every ride.

      • After consulting your owner’s manual, check the brakes to make sure the controls work smoothly and effectively and are adjusted accordingly. 
  • Lights

    • Check that all lights are working properly.
    • To ensure the optimal level of lighting, wipe any dirt off the lights before riding.
  • Oil and fuel

    • Check your ATV for leaks.
    • Make sure you have appropriate levels of oil and fuel.
  • Drive train and chassis

    • Assess any wear on your chains and replace them or lubricate as needed.
    • If your ATV has a drive shaft instead of a chassis, check for oil leaks and maintain oil levels according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
    • Examine your chassis and tighten any loose parts. The vibrations of the ATV can loosen nuts and bolts.

Safe Operating Procedures

  • Turning: Remember to shift your weight properly when making a turn.

    • When making a turn at a low speed, shift your body weight forward and to the outside of the turn while turning the handlebars.
    • When making a turn at a higher speed, lean your upper body toward the inside of the turn while keeping your weight on the outer footrest.  
  • Braking: Applying the brakes evenly and gently will bring the ATV to a proper stop.

    • When possible, release the throttle and shift to a lower gear prior to coming to your stopping point. 
  • Climbing: Operating an ATV on a slope that is too steep increases your risk for a potentially deadly overturn.

    • When you approach an incline, keep both feet firmly on the footrests and shift your body weight forward.
    • If your ATV stalls on a steep incline and you begin to drift backward, apply the brakes slowly.
      • Applying the brakes too fast when rolling backward could result in a rear overturn.
  • Descending

    • Always shift into a lower gear and point your ATV downhill when descending an incline.
    • Keep your feet firmly on the footrest and slide to the back of the operator’s seat to improve your stability.
  • Operating on sloped terrain: Shifting your body weight while in the operator’s seat significantly changes the ATV’s center of gravity on sloped terrain.

    • When possible, avoid driving your ATV across steep slopes when the terrain is slippery or bumpy.
      • If you must drive on such conditions, keep your feet on the footrests and lean your body weight uphill.

ATVs in Work Scenarios

It is important to choose an appropriate ATV for the particular needs of your farm operation. Note that four-wheeled ATVs have a better work capacity, are more stable, and pose a lower risk of side overturns than three-wheeled ATVs. Three-wheeled ATVs are no longer being manufactured, and a four-wheeled ATV is the safer choice.

Multiple ATVs

(Photo Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

The main differences between an ATV with a 2×4 drive train and an ATV with a 4×4 drive train are turning ability and driving ability on varying terrains. Different drive systems (limited slip differential, locking differential, and so on) result in different handling capabilities.

Attachments such as carrying racks and pulled equipment affect an ATV’s operation. Front and rear carrying racks are used to transport farm supplies such as small square bales or bagged feed. To avoid a rear overturn with your ATV, never carry more than one-third of the ATV’s weight on a rear carrying rack. Whenever possible, divide the load between a front and rear carrying rack.

When towing a load with an ATV, the load should never weigh more than the weight of the ATV plus the weight of the operator. You should hitch only to the manufacturer’s hitch point and follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for your ATV because some attachments may be too heavy for your ATV’s brakes. When you go down a slope with an attachment that is too heavy, the attachment can push your ATV, causing it to jackknife or resulting in an overturn.

General Safety Recommendations

  • Never carry a passenger. Extra riders can limit the operator’s ability to steer and control the vehicle and can interfere with the operator’s ability to shift his or her weight properly.

    • A passenger is allowable only if the ATV was designed for two people.
  • Do not allow children to ride with the operator during work tasks.
  • Check your riding area to make sure it is free from hazards such as rocks, stumps, branches, and fences.
  • Know and obey the laws in your area related to ATV operation.
  • Ask permission before riding on private property and be aware that some areas may require written permission.
  • Use lights, reflectors, and flags to increase the ATV’s visibility.
  • Do not show off, perform stunts, or speed.
  • ATV tires are not designed for road travel, so avoid public roads and paved surfaces, which can affect the handling and control of the ATV, posing a risk for overturn. 
  • Keep your feet on the footrests at all times.
  • Remember that certain ATV parts, such as the engine, exhaust pipe, and muffler, are hot and can cause burns.
  • Keep your hands and feet away from all moving parts on the ATV.
  • Maintain proper riding posture to operate the controls effectively.
  • Do not operate an ATV if you have drugs or alcohol in your bloodstream; your reaction time and judgment may be impaired.

See the video clip below from the ATV Safety Institute to learn about preparing for an ATV ride.

 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

 

ATV Safety for Agricultural Producers. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/64338/atv-safety-for-agricultural-producers.

 

Sources

2014 annual report of ATV-related deaths and injuries. (2015) Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/2014atvannualreport.pdf.

Baker, D. (2000) All-terrain vehicles. University of Missouri Extension. Retrieved from http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G1936.

Murphy, D. and Harshman, W. (2005) The safe use of ATVs in agriculture. Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from https://extension.psu.edu/the-safe-use-of-atvs-in-agriculture.

Schwab, C., Miller, L., and Satre, S. (2008) ATV safety for farm work, recreation. Iowa State University Extension. Retrieved from https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=5065.

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
 Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Jimmy Maass, Virginia Farm Bureau (Has since retired)
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Michael Pate, Pennsylvania State University – mlp79@psu.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

  

Use of Hand Signals in Production Agriculture

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Use of hand signals in production agriculture. (2012) Agricultural Safety and Health eXtension Community of Practice. Retrieved from https://ag-safety.extension.org/use-of-hand-signals-in-production-agriculture/.

Hand signals are an important means of communication on farms and ranches when noise levels are too loud or the distance is too far between workers to effectively use verbal communication. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) developed a standardized set of 11 hand signals for use in production agriculture to enhance communication and promote safety (ASABE, 2011). With the exception of one hand signal, all of the signals can be completed with the use of one arm.

Hand signals can be used to effectively communicate instructions, save time, and lower the risk of an injury or death. As a farmer or rancher, you need to understand the hand signals and teach the hand signals to those involved in your operation. The ASAE hand signals are shown below:

This far to go (ASAE Figure 1)

ASABE Hand Signal

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

Place palms at ear level facing your head and move inward to show the remaining distance to go.

Come to me (ASAE Figure 2)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 2

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Raise your arm vertically over your head, palm out to the front, and rotate in large horizontal circles.

Move toward me (ASAE Figure 3)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 3

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Point toward the person, vehicle, or unit.  Signal by holding arm horizontally to the front, palm up, and motiong toward the body.

Move out (ASAE Figure 4)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 4

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Face the desired direction of movement; hold the arm extended to the rear: then swing the arm overhead and forward in the direction of desired movement until the arm is horizontal with palm down.

Stop (ASAE Figure 5)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 5

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Raise the hand upward to the full extent of the arm, palm to the front. Hold that position until the signal is understood.

Increase speed (ASAE Figure 6)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 6

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Raise the hand to the shoulder, fist closed; thrust the fist upward to the full extent of the arm and back to the shoulder rapidly several times.

Decrease speed (ASAE Figure 7)

 

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 7

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

 

Extend arm horizontally sideward with palm down; wave arm downward at 45 degrees minimum several times.  Do not move your arm above horizontal.

Start the engine (ASAE Figure 8)

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 8

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

Move arm in circular motion at waist level to simulate cranking engine.

Stop the engine (ASAE Figure 9)

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 9

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

Draw right hand, palm down, across your neck in a “throat-cutting” motion left to right.

Lower equipment (ASAE Figure 10)

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 10

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

Use circular motion with either hand pointing to the ground.

Raise equipment (ASAE Figure 11)

ASABE Hand Signal Fig 11

From ANSI/ASAE Standard S351 FEB1972 (R2011): Hand signals for use in agriculture. Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used with permission.

Make circular motion with either hand at head level.

Resources:

Click HERE for on Hazardous Occupations Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA) Task Sheet 2.9 to see diagrams and examples of when to use each of the hand signals.

Use the following format to cite this article:

Use of hand signals in production agriculture. (2012)Agricultural Safety and Health eXtension Community of Practice. Retrieved from https://ag-safety.extension.org/use-of-hand-signals-in-production-agriculture/.

Sources

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). 2011. ANSI/ASAE S351 FEB1972 (R2007), Hand Signals for Use in Agriculture. ASABE Standards 2011. St. Joseph, MI: ASABE.

National safe tractor and machinery operation program: Student manual revised third edition. (2020) Penn State Extension. Not available online.

Johnson, S. & Murphy, D. (2008) Agricultural hand signals. Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from http://extension.psu.edu/business/ag-safety/vehicles-and-machinery/gener….

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (has since retired)
Charles V. Schwab, Iowa State University (has since retired)
 Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

Youth ATV Safety

ATV Safety Course Photo

(Photo Source: Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, ATV Safety Institute)

Use the following format to cite this article:

Youth ATV safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/62259/youth-atv-safety.

 

Youth operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on farms and ranches and for recreational use. ATVs can be useful for work and a fun mode of transportation; however, injuries from ATV incidents continue to be problematic for farm and rural youth. In 2008, more than 37,000 youth under the age of 16 were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country due to ATV-related injuries (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Many of these incidents can be prevented by evaluating the youth’s readiness to operate an ATV by:

  • identifying the correct size of ATV;
  • using personal protective equipment;
  • giving the youth safety instruction, and
  • providing adult supervision. 

Adult supervision of youth ATV operators is essential to ensure that the youth adheres to rules, wears the proper protective equipment, and correctly operates the ATV. Controls such as throttle limiters, exhaust restrictors, and remote shut-off switches are available to assist adults when regulating beginning ATV operators.

Youth Readiness and Size of ATV

Children under 6 should never be on an ATV, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most ATVs are labeled with a recommended age for that model. The recommended ages for Y-6 models (under 70cc engines) are 6 to 11 years old. The Y-12 models (70 to 90 cc engines) are 12 to 15 years old. However, some states many have specific rules regarding allowable age for operation of ATVs, so it is important to check your state for rules, and while the actual age is the easiest to identify, it should not be the only factor in determine when youth can ride.

Children develop at different rates, so consider each child’s cognitive and physical development when making a decision about their ability to operate an ATV. Cognitive and emotional development is related to the youth’s reasoning ability, memory, discipline, focus, and decision-making skills. Do not overestimate your child’s abilities when it comes to making decisions that will affect his safety. When assessing your child’s cognitive development, determine her level of discipline and her understanding of cause and effect. Be sure that your child understands that if his behavior is unsafe or reckless, the consequence may be an injury or death. Discuss safety scenarios with your youth to ensure that he can provide sensible and safe reactions to the situation.

Physical development includes the youth’s size, strength, visual acuity, and coordination. The following are a few measures you can take to determine if your child is physically ready to operate an ATV:

  • If your child stands on the footrests of the ATV with his hands on the handle bar, are there at least 3 inches of clearance between the ATV seat and the seat of the child’s pants?
  • Can your child operate the throttle and brake lever with one hand?
  • Can your child shift the weight of the ATV side to side by shifting her weight? 

Youth should only operate a four-wheeled ATV because these are more stable and present less risk for a side overturn compared to a three-wheeled ATV.

For beginning riders, choose an ATV with a single speed automatic transmission, and do not equip the ATV with a carrier rack. A load on a carrier rack can shift and possibly alter the ATV’s center of gravity and decrease its stability. There is only one seat for the operator; therefore, passengers are not permitted on an ATV. The following chart is a guideline for the most appropriate-sized ATV engine compared to the youth’s age.  

Figure 1: Operator Age and ATV Engine Size
Age of Operator ATV Engine Size
Under 6 years of age No operation recommended
Age 6 to 11 Under 70cc
Age 12 to 15 70 – 90cc
16 years and older Over 90cc

Different Sized ATVs

Different Sized ATVs. Photo Source: Penn State Ag Safety & Health

(Left to right: 700cc, 90cc, and 50cc. Photo Source: Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Safety and Health)

 

Protective Gear for ATV Operators

The most important piece of personal protective equipment for an operator is a helmet approved for ATV use.  Helmets should be the correct size for the operator and approved for ATV use by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), U.S. Department of Transportation, or the Snell Memorial Foundation to ensure that it has been safety tested. If the helmet is not equipped with a face shield, wear an ANSI-approved pair of goggles or glasses with hard-coated polycarbonate lenses. When operating an ATV, the child should also wear gloves, boots, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and long pants.

Maintenance, Specifications, and Operation

Teach your youth the location of the following ATV parts: parking brake, brakes, throttle, engine stop switch, and shift lever (if equipped). Prior to operating the ATV, follow these steps:

  • Check the air pressure in the tires, controls and cables, ignition switch, and oil and fuel levels.
  • Lubricate chains and/or drive-shaft chassis. 
  • Make sure that all nuts and bolts are tightly secured. 

Teach youth the acronym BONE-C which outlines the following steps to properly start an ATV:

  1. BBrake – Make sure the parking brake is set.
  2. OOn – The ignition and fuel are on.
  3. NNeutral – ATV should be started in neutral (if equipped)
  4. EEngine – The stop switch should be in the run or start position.
  5. CChoke – Choke should be on when starting a cold engine. 

Safety Instruction

Youth should learn to safely operate an ATV in an approved safety training program. 

Click HERE to be directed to ATVSafety.gov to do an online ATV safety training. ATVSafety.gov provides safety information, legislation regarding ATV use, state-specific information about regulations, and contact information for ATV safety training for adults and teens.  

Click HERE to be directed to the ATV Safety Institute for more information about ATV safety and safety training classes in your area.

Click HERE to view a below from the ATV Safety Institute to learn more about their ATV safety training classes.

Additional Safety Recommendations

  • Check your riding area to make sure it is free from hazards such as rocks, stumps, branches, and fences.
  • Know and obey the laws in your area related to ATV operation.
  • Ask permission before riding on private property.
  • Use lights, reflectors, and flags to increase the ATV’s visibility.
  • Do not show off, perform stunts, or speed.
  • ATV tires are not designed for road travel so avoid public roads and paved surfaces because road travel affects the handling and control of the ATV. 
  • Keep the feet on the footrests at all times.
  • Remember that certain ATV parts such as the engine, exhaust pipe, and muffler are hot and can cause burns.
  • Keep the hands and feet away from all moving parts on the ATV.
  • Maintain proper riding posture to help properly operate the controls.   

Resources

  • Click HERE to be directed to the Youth Agricultural Work Guidelines that provides questions designed to help you determine whether your child is ready to operate an ATV or UTV and have a positive agricultural work experience. 
  • Click HERE to be directed to the Children’s Safety Network’s publication titled ‘Focus on All-Terrain Vehicle Safety: Resource Guide 2012’.

 

 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Youth ATV safety. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/62259/youth-atv-safety.

 

Sources

2008 annual report of ATV-related deaths and injuries. (2010). Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/atv2008.pdf.

Youth agricultural work guidelines. (2017)National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. Retrieved from https://cultivatesafety.org/safety-guidelines-search/?category=familyyouth.

Murphy, D. & Harshman, W. (2005). ATVs and youth: Matching children and vehicles. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from https://extension.psu.edu/atvs-and-youth-matching-children-and-vehicles.

Parents, youngsters, and all-terrain vehicles (2010) ATV Safety Institute. Retrieved from https://www.cohv.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/parents-youngsters-atvs-2….

Schwab, C., Miller, L. & Satre, S. (2008) ATV safety for farm work, recreation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Safe Farm. Retrieved from https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=5065

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
S. Dee Jepson, Ohio State University – jepsen.4@osu.edu 
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University – (Has since retired)
Michael Pate, Pennsylvania State University – mlp79@psu.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center – aaron.yoder@unmc.edu