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Farm owner crushed underneath rotary mower while changing blades and untangling wire wrapped on cutting blades.

Michigan State University
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 03MI053, 2004 Mar; :1-8
On Monday, May 26, 2003, a 56-year-old horse farm owner was killed when he was crushed under a rotary mower while changing the cutting blades. MIFACE researchers were informed of the farm work-related fatality by a newspaper clipping. On November 17, 2003, MIFACE researchers interviewed the victim's wife and viewed and photographed the area where the incident occurred and the rotary mower. During the course of writing this report, the medical examiner's report, death certificate, police department report, and relevant sections of the Bush Hog Model 3210 operator's manual were obtained. Figure 1 and Figure 3 are photographs taken at the scene by the responding police department. Figure 2 was taken at the time of the MIFACE farm visit. The victim owned several commercial stores and had owned the horse farm where the incident occurred for 10 years. The horse farm consisting of 65 acres had 20 horses. In addition to the horse farm, the victim raised hay on another 80 acres that was cut and baled by another farmer. The victim had been active in horse breeding for 30 years and was very experienced operating and repairing farm equipment. The farm did not have a written health and safety plan. Recommendations: 1. Do Not "prop up" farm machines using angle bracing/supports during maintenance/repair procedures. Machines and equipment should be supported with solid wood blocking on solid work surfaces and according to the manufacturer's instructions. 2. Block both sides of wheels on partially raised farm equipment with trailing wheels. 3. Turn off tractor engine and set brakes during maintenance work, unless specified by manufacturer. 4. Do Not rely on the hydraulic system on farm equipment to hold raised equipment for repair, inspection or adjustment.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Equipment-operators; Farmers
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-03MI053; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division