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Farmer dies after being struck by a chain used to pull a machine from a field.

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 96MN040, 1996 Aug; :1-4
A 45-year-old male farmer (victim) died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a chain that was being used to pull a piece of equipment from a field. Earlier that day a tractor was driven, pulling a field cultivator to a farm field. While the cultivator was being pulled toward the field it's wheels cut into wet ground and the tractor and cultivator became stuck. The field cultivator was unhooked from the tractor and the victim was able to drive the tractor from the mud. He drove around the cultivator and backed the tractor toward it to attempt to pull it from where it was stuck. He hooked one end of a chain to the field cultivator. He also hooked one end of a stretchable "snap strap" (1) to the chain and the other end of the strap to the tractor. On one attempt to pull the cultivator free, the chain slipped free from where it was hooked to the cultivator. The chain was propelled toward the tractor and the victim seated in the enclosed cab. It shattered the rear and front windows of the tractor cab, struck the victim and caused him to lose control of the tractor. The tractor traveled several hundred feet and entered a ditch along a public road. When it traveled through the ditch, the cab door opened and the victim fell from the tractor. He was run over by the left rear dual wheels and the tractor continued across the road and into a field on the other side of the road. The victim's son who was sitting nearby in a pickup, drove to the location where his father had fallen from the tractor and used a two-way radio in the pick-up to call for assistance. Emergency medical personnel arrived shortly after they were notified and immediately transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. workers using snap straps should connect them in configurations that reduce the risk of injury from thrown objects; and 2. workers should hitch towed loads only to the tractor drawbar.
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
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-96MN040; 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