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Farmer died when crushed between tractor steering wheel and enclosed feed auger.

NIOSH 2005 Jan; :1-9
On September 5, 2003, an 87-year-old male farmer died while backing his Oliver Super 77 tractor with an attached 5-foot cut rotary mower into a storage area in a barn. He placed the tractor in reverse to back the rotary mower into the barn. The sequence of events is unknown. It appears that the left rear tractor wheel tire traveled over a portion of a doorframe on the ground and raised the tractor. This caused the victim to duck his head to avoid the ceiling beam or he did hit his head on the barn beam and then had difficulty engaging the clutch to stop the tractor. At some point, the rotary mower began to jackknife, hit a car also stored in the barn, and continued to the barn wall. The tractor continued in reverse approximately another 12-15 feet. Running the length of the storage area was an enclosed round feed auger which was 71-inches from the ground. The victim, sitting in the tractor seat, was pinned between the enclosed auger and the tractor steering wheel. When he did not return as expected, his wife went to look for him in the fields. Not finding him, she called her son, who found the victim. Emergency response was called, the tractor moved forward, and the victim removed from the tractor seat. He was declared dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Consider adding roughness to smooth clutch or brake pedals by using a 4-inch portable grinder or welding a bead of metal on the pedal, or cover the pedal with a non-slip surface for added foot pedal control. 2. Use boots or shoes with aggressive tread to help maintain contact on worn-smooth clutch and brake pedals on older tractors with no aggressive pedal surfaces. 3. Keep floor areas where equipment is stored clear of objects that might impede the positioning of stored equipment. 4. Consider retrofitting an older tractor with a rollover protective structure when available. 5. Agricultural equipment operators should recognize the potential human factor limitations of advanced age. 6. Consider carrying a reliable 2-way communication device for emergency communication in case of injury and emergency situations.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-03MI202; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University