Farmer crushed by corn head when disengaging it from combine

Iowa Case Report: 08IA081
Report Date: October 10, 2012

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


A 33-year-old male farmer died when separating a corn head from the feeder on a disabled combine. A first attempt to disengage the head using a tractor and chains failed when the latches under the feeder would not disconnect. The victim crawled under the raised corn head to examine its connection with the feeder, and while still underneath, used a hammer to force one of the locking latches to release. As the latch released, the corn head separated from the feeder and pinned him to the ground. It took first responders ten to fifteen minutes to lift the corn head off the victim, who was then transported to a Level I trauma care facility via helicopter. Efforts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful.

Farmer crushed by corn head when disengaging it from combinepdf icon [PDF 760 KB]

Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015