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Family Dairy Farm Worker Dies When Tractor Rolls Down Embankment – Washington

Washington Case Report: 22WA5254
Release Date: February 6, 2023

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.


On July 28, 2020, a 56-year-old family dairy farm worker died when his tractor rolled down an embankment. He was operating a tractor built in 1971 that did not have a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seat belt. The tractor was towing a 25-plus-foot lagoon pump trailer on a narrow, bumpy, and rutted dirt track road. The road was on the crest of an earthen embankment that surrounded the farm’s manure pond. The lone worker was using the pump to agitate water and cow waste solids stored in the pond and spray the mixture as soil fertilizer in nearby feed crop fields. The pond area was dark, as it was two hours before sunrise. The only light came from the tractor and nearby farm buildings. The tractor was traveling close to the unmarked edge of the road. As the tractor turned sharply near its final destination, its front left wheel got caught in a rut that caused the tractor to roll over the edge down the outer slope of the embankment. The worker fell to the ground, and the tractor’s 3-point hitch fatally pinned him against his back.

Family Dairy Farm Worker Dies When Tractor Rolls Down Embankment – Washington [PDF 741 KB]