The National Safety Council estimates that 50 to 100 people die across the U.S. each year from tractor run-overs.
The primary cause of run-overs is bypass starting: attempting to start a tractor from the ground rather than from the operator’s station, bypassing the ignition key in favor of the starter motor.
A tractor left in gear can lurch suddenly when an operator attempts a bypass start. Since the starter on a tractor is generally in front of the rear wheels, the tractor moves so suddenly that the victim is not able to get out of the way.
Here are steps you can take to prevent jump-starting accidents:
- Never attempt to start a tractor from anywhere but the operator’s station.
- Install no-bypass-starting kits on your tractors.
- Put bypass starting warning decals on your tractors.
- Be sure all tractor operators on your farm are properly trained in correct starting procedures.