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Fact Sheet


The farm is one of the most dangerous environments for children. Fatal injuries generally occur when children wander unexpectedly into areas where equipment is in use. Children can be exposed to tremendous risks including tractor rollovers, falls from equipment or ladders and entanglement in power take-off shafts and other machines. Careful planning and guidance from adults is needed in order to reduce the risks to children living on farms.

Steps to a Safer Farm Operation
 Designate a safe area, away from dangerous farm equipment, for children to play. Children should never enter areas where machines are in operation unless supervised or until the operator has turned off the equipment.
 Tractors should be equipped with roll-over protective structures and seatbelts.
 Tractors should not transport extra passengers because of the potential for falling from the tractor or into the path of the equipment. Carrying passengers may also divert the attention of the individual operating the tractor.
 Tractor wheels should be set in the widest possible position to increase stability and reduce the possibility of tipping.
 When driving on public roads, a clean, bright Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem must be on the tractor. State vehicle codes require the mounting of an SMV emblem on equipment moving less than 25 miles per hour on highways.
 Do not wear ragged or loose clothing when working around farm machinery.
 Always turn off farm machinery before making repairs.
 A five pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher and first aid kit should be mounted on all tractors and self-propelled machines.
 Farm equipment should be hitched properly. Farm tractors may become unstable when improper hitching is attempted. Tractor drawbars are designed for towing. Hitching or towing at points other than the drawbar may result in a rear over-turn.
 Farm equipment should be equipped with emergency lighting. Many farm tractors do not have functional hazard warning lights. Emergency lighting provides an advance warning for other drivers sharing the highway with farm equipment.

Farm Safety & Health Program, University of MN

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.