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Farmer crushed to death while changing u-joint on older farm truck.

NIOSH 1996 May; :1-3
A 51 year old farmer was killed while working under a farm grain truck. The truck was over 20 years old and had a noisy universal joint that needed repair. The man drove the truck next to a corn crib away from the wind on dry ground, which was slightly sloping away from the building. He set the parking brake, put the transmission in neutral, and proceeded to remove the driveshaft and U-joint immediately to the rear of the transmission. He was lying parallel to the truck, on the ground with his head towards the front of the truck. No chocks were put under the wheels, only the parking brake was used. As the victim removed the last bolt of the U-joint, the drive shaft spun out of his hands and hit the victim in the neck and face area. The truck started rolling down the slope and stopped with the front axle crushing the victim's chest. He was not found until 30-40 minutes later when a relative saw him under the truck and noticed that he was not moving. A tractor front end loader was used to raise the front of the truck to access the victim. CPR was attempted, but he was dead at the scene. It was determined later that the parking brake on this truck was connected to the transmission, and acted through the drive shaft. This break became ineffective when the driveshaft was disconnected from the transmission and the truck was free to roll backwards down the incline. The victim obviously assumed that the parking brake locked the rear wheels. Recommendations following our investigation were as follows: 1. Workers should always chock the wheels when working on a vehicle that is left on an incline. 2. Trucks should be repaired in a shop equipped to repair large vehicles.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture
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-95IA040; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health