A Comparison of Interventional Approaches for Increasing Power Take-off Shielding on New York Farms

J Agromedicine. 2017;22(3):251-258. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2017.1318726.


Objective: Power take-off (PTO) driveline entanglements are a primary source of injury on US farms. As with many farm injury concerns, hazard control technology is widely available for mitigating the risk of these entanglements. Despite the availability of hazard control technology, PTO shields are damaged or missing on approximately 57% of PTO driveline implements in New York. Given the catastrophic nature of entanglements and the ready access to safety technology, a better understanding of what motivates farmers to install or replace PTO shields is warranted.

Methods: To examine this question, agricultural health and safety researchers in New York State conducted an initial comparison of PTO shield sales on farms receiving one of three different interventional approaches. These included PTO shield audits, a social marketing campaign, and on-farm safety services. PTO shield purchases were tracked from January 2011 through June 2016 on farms receiving these interventions and on other farms that were not exposed to interventional strategies.

Results: Results indicate that a significantly higher number of PTO shields were purchased on farms that requested and received on-farm safety services versus farms that were exposed to PTO shield audits, the social marketing campaign, or the control group. PTO shield sales were slightly elevated on farms receiving driveline audits, as compared with control farms (although these differences were not significant).

Conclusions: No marked differences in sales were noted between control farms and farms exposed to the social marketing campaign. Only one of the three interventional strategies (on-farm safety services) approached the number of PTO shield sales necessary to prevent an entanglement.

Keywords: Behavior change; driveline entanglements; farm injuries; farm safety; power take-off shields; safety audits; safety training; social marketing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / economics
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Agriculture / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Safety / economics
  • Farms
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Occupational Health / economics
  • Protective Devices / economics
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Safety Management
  • Social Marketing