Tractor driver: are you aware of these six health risks?

All work involves health risks – that is a fact. The risks vary according to the nature of the work, so nurses, welders, farmers, teachers, drivers and hairdressers face very different challenges. Unfortunately, farming is one of the riskiest occupations because you are often working with animals, machines, chemicals and natural elements.

We have listed the main health risks for tractor drivers below – take a look! Even though you might already be aware of these risks, it does not hurt to take a few minutes to evaluate your current situation. If you face any of these six main health risks while performing your work, take a moment and write down ideas for minimising the risks. Taking a proactive approach will help promote your good health, now and in the future!

Six main risks for tractor drivers

1. Irregular working hours
  • Nightshifts – working at least three hours between 11pm and 6am a minimum of 20 times per year
  • Challenges with general alertness when working with farm machinery
  • Harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle (sleeping, exercising and eating)
2. Chemical and physical risks
  • Prolonged exposure to noise; in old tractor cabs, noise levels can exceed 85 dB, while in modern tractor cabs the noise level can be less than 70 dB
  • Inhalation of exhaust and dust, exposure to mould in silage, hay, straw or crops
  • Exposure to shaking and vibrations
  • Exposure to chemicals, such as diesel, pesticides and silage preservative acids
3. Risk of accidents
  • Slipping and falling accidents, especially when climbing into or out of the tractor cab
  • Severe road traffic accidents when driving between fields
  • Proximity to PTO axles and other moving tractor implements
  • Falling down from a slurry tanker, wagon or other implement
  • Risk of driving over a family member or co-worker in the farmyard
4. Mental stress
  • Financial pressure, especially when your farm is also your home, work, business, lifestyle and ancestral estate
  • Pressure due to seasons, weather and heavy workloads
5. Physical stress
  • Musculoskeletal loads, especially on the neck and shoulder area, back and knees
  • Poor ergonomics in old cabs
  • Sitting with static muscle tension, stress on blood-vascular system, risk of embolism
  • Constant rotational movement of spine
6. Cognitive stress
  • Stressful focus on the field and multiple technical devices (GPS, vehicle and implement terminals, mobile phones) at the same time
Valtra is passionate about creating the most comfortable tractors that prevent any unnecessary physical and cognitive stress. Read more about ergonomics and our latest innovations!

You may also like to read: