Safety guidelines for engine rallies and displays vary depending upon local legal requirements and conditions.

Although the following safety rules were used at the Australian Fourth National Rally in 1993, they are typical of the conditions required at events held in Australia.

They have been reprinted with the permission of the Committee of the Bendigo Steam & Oil Engine Preservation Group Inc. (Victoria, Australia).


  1. Do not stand too close to engines running under their own power.
  2. Keep clear of transmission belts and wire ropes used for hauling.
  3. Ensure that children are kept under control and are also kept clear of wheels - it is not always possible to see them from driving positions.
  4. Please take notice of officials if they give safety instructions - remember it's for the good of an enjoyable day.
  5. Treat the exhibits with the respect they deserve. A lot of hard work has been put into restoring and maintaining them.


The Bendigo Steam & Oil Engines Preservation Group Inc. Committee and Members shall in no way be liable for any loss, damage or injury whatsoever to persons, their property, however caused whilst attending our Rally.

No claim will be made against said aforementioned, for any such loss, damage or injury however caused.



"Compound" includes; fenced area, shed or other building, used to exhibit operating machinery.


Means approved by local Committee.


Includes Safety Marshall, Safety Officer or other responsible person appointed by Local Committee.


The compound should be fenced on all sides with posts firmly fixed, carrying an approved type of mesh (e.g. ring lock type fencing) or barrier (e.g. high density polyethylene used by Government Authorities) standing approximately one metre in height.
Engine Spacing in Compound
All engines should,where possible, be spaced at least 1 metre from the fence with a space of 1 metre between engines.
An approved fire extinguisher and First Aid Kit is to be present. At larger rallies one of each will suffice.
Engines should be placed in the compound with flywheels running parallel to the fence.
However, some engines may be better observed by placing the engine in front view with the fence line. In this event the engine should be placed so that the rotation of the flywheel is away from the public at the fence.

Engines must be in a safe working condition. Special attention should be given to items such as:

a. Flywheel keys

f. Locknuts

b. Fuel lines

g. Belting

c. Spark plugs

h. Shafting

d. Fuel tanks

i. Hot steam and exhaust pipes

e. Magneto Drives

    Exhibits may be checked by a Committee member at any time. In the case of a dispute exhibitor has the right of appeal to another Member of the Committee.
    Storage of Liquid Combustible Fuels
    The storage of fuel must be in a approved type of metal container with a screw cap or self locking flap type cap.
    [Ed: I use plastic containers made by Rheem Australia who make a range of jerry cans out of the same plastic automotive fuel tanks are made of. The material is stronger than metal cans, hard to puncture or crush, expands and contracts without damage and does not vent. Each can comes with an integral spill proof spout and can vent.]
    Engine Refueling
    All internal combustion engines should be stopped for refueling operations. No smoking applies and a fire extinguisher should be close by.
    Unattended Engines
    Members who wish to leave engines unattended must advise another member within the compound of their absence. They must also ensure that nominated attendant is familiar with shut down procedure of the engine. A member has the right to turn an engine off if, in his opinion, the engine is considered to be unsafe.


    Driven Exhibits
    All engines and driven exhibits should be securely fastened to the ground with both vee sections and flat section belts in good condition.
    Chaff cutters, Engine Powered Saws and Mowers
    Chaff cutters must be operated with a protective cover over the knives. Dragsaws, Chain saws and Power Hacksaws are the only powered type of sawing implement to be demonstrated.
    All chaff cutters and saws must have approval from Committee. All blades on exhibited Rotary mowers must be removed and blades on mechanical scythes must be disengaged except during actual demonstrations.
    Radial Engines
    Radial engines must not be operated with a propeller attached.
    Steam Engines and Pressure Vessels
    Steam engines and pressure vessel must have a current State Government Approved Certificate before operating.
    Steam plant may only be operated by persons holding an appropriate State Government Certificate.
    Self Propelled Vehicles
    The speed of a self propelled vehicle must not be greater than walking pace.
    Driving of Self Propelled Vehicles
    All operators must hold a current drivers or tractor license carrying appropriate endorsement where necessary.
    Traction Engines and Rollers
    Passenger allowed only at the discretion of driver or owner.
    Riding on Tractors
    Additional passengers are not to be carried unless tractor has additional seating as standard attachment. No standing passengers allowed. Tractor pulls may be conducted but in a safe and approved manner.
    Riding on Trailers
    Riding on trailers only with Committee approval and the following criteria should apply: Speed walking pace; responsible adult must be on trailer; suitable guard rail around trailers; no standing during rides.
    Power Take Off Shafts
    If a P.T.O shaft is operating it must have a protective covering for full length of the driving shaft.
    Total Fire Ban Day
    Restrictions must be totally observed.
    Loading and Unloading of Equipment
    Members who are loading and unloading equipment with winches and ramps must ensure that these items are of safe and adequate strength.
    Clothing and Footwear
    No open toe footwear to be worn and clothing must not be excessively loose.
    Relevant Statutes
    All relevant Municipal, State and Federal statutes must be observed.

    Information provided by M. H. Kennedy
    July 1997