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Farmer dies of injuries sustained while trying to stop a rolling tractor.

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 96MN049, 1996 Oct; :1-4
A 61-year old male farmer (victim) died from injuries sustained while apparently trying to stop a rolling tractor. On the day of the incident, the victim used a tractor and sprayer to spray thistles in his soybean fields. After he applied one tank of spray, he returned to an area near a wooden storage building. He stopped the tractor on the south end of the building to refill the sprayer tank. After he stopped the tractor engine he dismounted the tractor but did not lock the brakes or leave the manual transmission in gear. He apparently was working along the left side of the tractor, and slightly ahead of the left rear wheel when the tractor began to roll backward. After the tractor began to roll, the victim apparently tried to stop it from a position between the left rear wheel and the loader frame on the left side of the tractor. He may have stumbled as it rolled and struck the side of his head on the axle of the tractor or the loader frame fastened to the tractor axle. A short time later, the victim's wife discovered the tractor and sprayer about twenty feet from the southwest corner of the wooden storage building. She noticed her husband lying on his back underneath it with the front wheels of the tractor against his right hand and arm. She immediately returned to the house and placed a call to emergency personnel. Rescue personnel arrived shortly after they were notified, removed the victim and pronounced him dead at the scene. MN FACE investigators concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. operators should set vehicle parking brakes or shift transmissions to park when vehicles are stopped; and 2. farm workers and farm family members should be trained to stay clear of and move away from all "run away" tractors, vehicles, and machinery.
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-96MN049; 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