Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Inspect PTO Guards during Agricultural Safety Week

March 08, 2019

March 10-16, 2019 is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week and a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of safety matters on farm workplaces.  The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) would like to remind farmers that this week is an ideal time to inspect Power Take Off (PTO) drive equipment to ensure that guards are in place and working properly.


The impact of a farm accident can be devastating, and one of the leading causes of farm fatalities and injuries is equipment entanglement. According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, from 2003 to 2012, 61 deaths on Canadian farms were caused by entanglement.  Exposed bolts, universal joints, burrs or other projections on rotating components can grab clothing, resulting in instant entanglement.


“WCB is committed to helping PEI farmers and their workers stay safe at work especially around farming equipment,” said Luanne Gallant, Chief Executive Officer, Workers Compensation Board. “Implementing regular equipment safety checks into your safety program is essential to reducing the risk of injury.”


It is extremely important to take time to ensure that PTO guards are in place and working before the farming season is at its peak.


“Building a culture of safe and healthy workplaces starts with conversation.  Frequent safety meetings and asking workers for feedback will help keep safety at the forefront on every farm,” said Stuart Affleck, Workers Compensation Board Chair.


The Workers Compensation Board has a number of safety resources for farm employers and workers available at, including a PTO hazard alert. The hazard alert lists a number of precautions that should be taken to prevent accidents related to entanglement, including:


  • Ensuring that the PTO is properly maintained and that PTO drivelines are fully shielded.
  • Regularly checking all components of the PTO guarding system for nicks or damage.
  • Ensuring that all sections of the PTO driveline, including universal joints are fully shielded. PTO guards should include a tractor shield, a shaft shield and an implement shield.
  • Replacing or repairing damaged shields, bearings and safety devices before the equipment is used.
  • Ensuring that PTO driven equipment is maintained and guarded according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Never operating equipment with damaged or missing PTO guards.
  • Staying well clear of rotating PTO drivelines.


For additional information about farm safety, contact WCB Farm Safety Specialist, Mitchell Jay, at 902-368-6562 or 1-800-237-5049.


Aussi disponible en français.

Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or