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Farmer dies after becoming entangled in the unloading beaters of a silage feed wagon.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 96MN004, 1996 Jun; :1-5
A 30-year-old male farmer (victim) died from injuries sustained when he became entangled in the unloading beaters of a silage feed wagon. The wagon was equipped with a power-take-off drive mechanism that operated three unloading beaters mounted across the front of the wagon. The beaters broke apart the load of silage as two apron chains on the wagon floor moved the load to the front of the wagon. While using the wagon to feed cattle on the day of the incident, one of the apron chains broke. Since the wagon was nearly empty when the chain broke, the victim parked the wagon and continued with other farm activities. Later that day, the victim decided to completely empty the wagon to prevent the silage from freezing to the wagon floor. He drove the tractor and wagon into a cattle lot and entered the wagon with a shovel. While he shoveled the silage from the wagon, he apparently stepped backward into the rotating unloading beaters. The tines of the top beater caught the victim's coveralls and pulled him backward over the top of it and against the front wall of the silage wagon. Approximately forty-five minutes after the victim began to empty the remaining silage from the wagon, his father entered the cattle lot and discovered him entangled in the unloading beaters. He ran to a farm building and notified a neighbor who had been helping at the farm that day. A call was immediately made to emergency medical personnel. They arrived shortly after being notified and completed the removal of the victim which had already been started. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead by the county coroner. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. operators should turn off the engine and remove the key before dismounting from a tractor; 2. operators should disengage the power-take-off before dismounting from a tractor; and 3. operators should not wear loose-fitting clothing near or while operating machines.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Farmers; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Tractors; Equipment-operators; Protective-equipment; Clothing
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-96MN004; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division