NIOSH logo and tagline

Farmer Pinned Between Skid Steer Loader Bucket and Frame, Michigan

Michigan Case Report: 18MI004
Report Date: 12/20/2019


In Winter 2018, a male farmer in his 50s died when he was pinned between the bucket and frame of a skid steer. The decedent was loading wood into an outdoor wood burner that heated both his home and his farm office located in the barn. The decedent used the skid steer bucket to carry a log to the wood burner. He had previously bypassed the skid steer’s safety lap bar. He stopped the skid steer on the concrete pad in front of the wood burner and exited the cab without turning off the machine. The incident was unwitnessed. When the decedent’s spouse arrived home from work, she noticed the decedent “dangling” and called out to him. She ran to the skid steer, and seeing his position, immediately called for emergency response. When responders arrived, they turned off the machine to assess his condition. Finding him deceased, they restarted the skid steer and tilted the bucket to lower him to the ground, and then lowered the bucket to the ground.


  • Rewired to bypass skid steer safety interlock mechanisms
  • Safe operating procedures not followed during exiting of operator cab: skid steer still running, parking brake not engaged
  • Cold and snowy weather conditions
  • Working alone
  • Equipment selection (No assistive log lifting device)

MIFACE investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Skid steer operators should never modify or bypass the manufacturer-installed safety interlocks.
  • Skid steer operators should follow the manufacturer’s warnings and instructions for safe mounting and dismounting.
  • Perform a job safety analysis to identify and minimize potential risks.

Farmer Pinned Between Skid Steer Loader Bucket and Frame, Michigan [PDF 815 KB]