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Ohio State University Extension


Power Take-Off (PTO) Shielding for Trainers and Supervisors

Tailgate Safety Training for Landscaping and Horticultural Services
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Objective: Use safe practices with power-take-off shielding.

Trainer’s Note

Power take-off shielding is designed for safety—but it must be used. For this module:
  • Review the information below on how to use power take-off shielding safely.
  • Point out the shields on a tractor or other power source with power take-off.
  • Demonstrate safety practices.
  • Ask workers to give examples of incidents that can occur when shielding is not in place.
  • Review the important points.
  • Have workers take the True/False quiz to check their learning.


Workers can be injured or killed if they are caught in a power take-off (PTO). PTO shields are designed to prevent accidents. But PTO shields cannot work if they are not in place. And PTO shields cannot work if they are damaged.

For more information, refer to the Tailgate Safety Training module Safe Use of the Power Take-off (PTO).

PTO shielding

Use Caution With PTOs

  • Disengage the PTO before getting off a tractor. This reduces the chance of slipping or falling onto a rotating shaft or getting caught in a moving part.
  • Integral shields should move freely. When the power is off, the shield should easily rotate by hand. Repair damaged shields or bearings immediately.
  • Keep the PTO master shield on the PTO power source in place.
  • The equipment operator should wear close-fitting clothes and slip-resistant footwear. Rotating parts catch loose clothing easily.
  • Never step across a rotating power shaft. Equipment may require the PTO to run at full speed while the operator is working in the vicinity, so it is crucial to always walk around the revolving shaft.
  • Never allow children around the equipment or work area.
  • Replace damaged or missing shields immediately. If there are questions about the machinery, check with your employer or equipment dealer.

Review These Important Points

  • Keep all shields in place at all times except when servicing.
  • Replace all shields immediately after servicing a PTO shaft.
  • Never step over a working PTO.
  • Always disengage the PTO before getting off a tractor.
  • Wear close-fitting clothing when working around a PTO.
  • Keep children away from a PTO.

About These Modules
The author team for the training modules in the landscape and horticultural tailgate training series includes Dee Jepsen, Program Director, Agricultural Safety and Health, Ohio State University Extension; Michael Wonacott, Research Specialist, Vocational Education; Peter Ling, Greenhouse Specialist; and Thomas Bean, Agricultural Safety Specialist. Modules were developed with funding from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant Number 46E3-HT09.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Answer Key

1. F

2. F

3. T

4. F

5. T


Quiz: Power-Take-Off (PTO) Shielding



True or False?

1. Wear loose-fitting clothing when working around PTOs.     T     F

2. Allow children to play around PTOs.     T     F

3. Keep any shielding on PTOs in place or replace immediately after servicing.     T     F

4. Stepping over a rotating power shaft is acceptable.     T     F

5. Always disengage the PTO before getting off a tractor.     T     F

Originally posted Jun 11, 2018.