Training and supervision are essential for staying safe around tractors and other machinery and equipment on farms.
An owner, self-employed person or person in control of a workplace should ensure the safe operation of the tractor through instruction, training and constant supervision of the operator while the operator is gaining experience in tractor operation or if operating the tractor themselves, should be trained and supervised.
The training received should ensure the operator is familiar with:
- information contained in the manufacturer's operating instruction handbook
- tractor controls and instruments, brakes, clutch and gears
- tractor safety features eg. guards, seat belts
- comfort controls eg. adjusting the seat to be in reach of all controls
- operating instructions including starting, moving off and how to stop the tractor
- regular service procedures required
- proper attachment of implements.
Tractor operators should also be informed of possible hazard situations, and know how to reduce the risk of accidents.
High-risk situations require that utmost caution should be taken where:
- there is a risk of the tractor overturning and ROPS and seatbelts have not been fitted
- it is necessary to carry passengers and protective frames and where seat belts are not provided
- the tractor is to be operated in an area where it is not practicable to totally separate the tractor operation from other workers or non-workers eg. children.
A tractor operator who requires more information about how to operate the tractor in a competent and safe manner should seek instruction from the employer and must hold the appropriate licences and certificates if required.