Farm machinery: Fact sheet

Farmers and farm workers are at risk of fatal or serious injury operating or working with tractors, implements and attachments.


Farm machinery

Farmers and farm workers are at risk of fatal or serious injury when operating or working with tractors, and related implements and attachments.


  • Tractors, and related implements and attachments, must be maintained and guarded in line with industry standards and manufacturers' requirements.
  • Ensure that tractor implements and attachments are appropriate for the job.
  • Be aware of how implements and attachments may affect the handling and performance of the tractor.
  • Most tractors must be fitted with roll over protective structures (ROPS).
  • Ensure all guards are in place, especially power take off (PTO) guards, and check them regularly for signs of wear and tear.
  • If there is a front-end loader on the tractor, or a risk of falling objects in the work area, a falling objects protection structure (FOPS) should be fitted.
  • Ensure all tractors are fitted with non-slip, side-access steps that are in good condition.
  • Don't allow anyone to ride on the steps, or on implements attached to the tractor, while the tractor is moving.
  • Ensure grab rails and hand holds are fit for purpose.
  • Always stop the tractor and engage the park brake, before getting off.
  • Don't attempt to board a moving tractor.
  • If you remove a guard during servicing, ensure it is re-fitted before the tractor is used.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks in line with the manufacturers' instructions.
  • Ensure workers are properly inducted, trained and supervised, especially inexperienced and young operators.

Further information

For more information about farm safety,visit our farming page and the NSW Department of Primary Industries runs courses on safe tractor operation and maintenance.

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