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Teenage farm worker dies during silage defacer entanglement.

NIOSH 2005 Jul; :1-4
On January 2nd, 2005 an 18-year-old farm worker was fatally injured when he became entangled in a silage defacer, which loosens and collects silage to add to a feed mix wagon. At the time of the incident, the worker was idling a tractor to allow it to warm up prior to use on a cold morning. The silage defacer was attached on the front of the tractor, approximately four feet off the ground. The worker energized the defacer unit while the tractor was idling near the farm shop, then proceeded to do some work in the shop area, and while doing this walked in front of the energized defacer unit. The sleeve of the victim's coat became caught in the unit and he became entangled around the moving parts of the machine. The farm owner, who was working nearby in the farm shop, heard an unusual sound and went to investigate. Upon arriving at the scene, he immediately turned off the power to the defacer unit, shut off the tractor engine and then called 911. The farmer disentangled the victim from the machinery and began CPR until a local EMT arrived. Shortly after, the rescue squad and state police arrived. The victim was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future: 1. Silage defacers and other powered equipment attachments on tractors should only be energized while the operator is in the machine operator position; 2. Workers should not come in close proximity to operating pieces of equipment such as defacers or other machines with aggressive entanglement points and; 3. Employers should ensure that all operators of equipment are thoroughly trained on hazardous pieces of equipment and ensure employees follow safe operating procedures. Additionally, equipment manufacturers should consider: 4. Incorporating automatic shut off features into equipment designs such that when the operator leaves the operator seat position, the equipment deenergizes and; 5. Adding bright-colored paint and/or stripes on the front side wheels of defacer units to increase equipment visibility.
Region-2; 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; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Tractors; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Agricultural-machinery
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-05NY001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-220784
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New York State Department of Health. Health Research Incorporated