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Horse farm owner dies when pinned under golf cart.

NIOSH 2005 May; :1-5
On January 31, 2004, a 45-year old female horse farm owner (decedent) died when she was pinned under a golf cart. The woman had driven a gas-powered golf cart from her house on the farm to the horse barn to muck stalls and put horses in the barn. After driving the golf cart into the barn, the farm owner placed two square bales of hay on the golf cart; one on the back and one on the passenger side of the front seat. Leaving the ignition key of the golf cart in the "on" position, she left the golf cart in the aisle at the end of the barn. She then walked the length of the barn, entered a stall, mucked it out, exited the stall into the barn aisle, and leaned the pitch fork against the wall next to the stall door. Unbeknownst to the farm owner, the bale of hay on the passenger seat had slipped off the seat and fallen onto the gas pedal of the golf cart. With the pedal depressed by the hay bale and the key in the "on" position, the golf cart proceeded down the barn aisle, striking the victim and pinning her underneath. Several hours later, the farm owner's daughter went to the barn and found her mother pinned underneath the golf cart. Upon finding her mother, she called a friend then went to the farm manager's house located nearby on the farm. The daughter informed the farm manager that her mother was in the barn pinned underneath the golf cart. The farm owner's daughter returned to the barn with the farm manager to find the daughter's friend and her friend's mother on the phone with emergency services. Emergency services arrived and contacted the coroner who arrived and declared the horse farm owner dead at the scene due to "compression asphyxia with hypothermia". To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made: 1. When exiting a golf cart, the operator should always turn the ignition switch to the "off" position and remove the key. 2. Golf cart seats should only be used for human occupancy. 3. A golf cart should be equipped with appropriate accessory equipment specific for the task.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Region-4; Agricultural-workers; Safety-measures; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-products
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-04KY060; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-409879
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Kentucky Department of Health Services