On September 19, 2003, a 23-year-old male laborer (decedent) died when he became caught in the activated arms of a skidsteer loader. A work crew consisting of a contractor and 3 laborers had spent the day installing fence on a dairy farm. Earlier in the day, the contractor had borrowed a skidsteer from the farm owner. The work crew used the skidsteer to set fence posts in the ground. At the end of the work day (approximately 4:00 PM), the contractor instructed the decedent to return the skidsteer to the barn area. From the work site, the decedent drove the skidsteer 200 yards with the bucket in the upright position (above the cab of the machine) to the gate for the barn area. As the decedent approached the gate and stopped the machine, the decedent kept the arms of the skidsteer in the upright position. The exact circumstances of what happened next are unknown. No one saw the decedent exit the machine to open the gate. The contractor (200 yards away with the other laborers) heard the machine idle but not moving, looked over and saw the decedent trapped between the arms and the machine. Upon seeing the trapped decedent, the contractor and the other two laborers ran the 200 yards to the skidsteer. The dairy farmer noticed the situation and also ran to the skidsteer. When the contractor, laborers and dairy farmer arrived at the skidsteer, they found the decedent caught in between the arms and the body of the machine and removed the decedent's body from the machine. Emergency services were contacted. When emergency services arrived several minutes later, the laborer was determined to be dead and the coroner was contacted. The coroner arrived and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made: 1. Employers should ensure that employees are adequately trained on proper operation of and safety mechanisms of material handling equipment. 2. Employers should have a written safety policy outlining safety practices and procedures. This policy should state the consequences of not following the company policies.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Region-4; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Equipment-operators; Farmers; Work-analysis; Work-practices; Agricultural-workers