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Farmer dies after being pinned beneath the front of skid-steer loader.

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 99MN027, 1999 Oct; :1-4
A 51-year-old female farmer (victim) died after being pinned beneath the front of a skid-steer loader while using it to unload a piece of equipment from a hayrack. She routinely used the loader and was familiar with its operation. The loader showed significant signs of wear and duct tape was used on the control lever linkage for the hydraulic system and the forward/reverse control mechanism. The loader's operational controls consisted of two adjacent "T" levers located on a control panel in front of the operator's seat. Horizontal rods adjacent to the operator's feet connected the lower ends of the "T" levers to control valves located beneath the seat. The control linkage would sometimes jam which prevented normal operation of the loader. The victim recently purchased a combine that included a front-end attachment that consisted of a cutting platform and a set of long cylindrical reels. The victim was unloading the reels from a hayrack that had been used to haul them to her farm. After positioning the hayrack near a row of bushes and a corn field, the victim drove the loader to the side of the hayrack. She used several chains to lift the reels from the hayrack. Limited space between the bushes and the corn field caused her to approach the bushes at an angle. When one end of the reels contacted the bushes, she apparently lowered the bucket enough to unhook one chain and may have been planning to lift the end of the reels that wasn't near the bushes and move it closer to the bushes. After lowering the reels, the linkage controlling the loader operation apparently jammed. The victim climbed from the seat and knelt beneath the raised bucket in front of the loader. She reached along each side of the control panel to unjam the linkage rods and apparently caused the loader to move forward, pinning her legs beneath the machine. She was unable to free herself and was discovered the next day by a neighbor who notified emergency personnel. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene shortly after being notified, removed the victim and pronounced her dead at the scene. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. skid-steer loader controls should only be operated from the operator's compartment, never from outside the compartment; 2. skid-steer loader engines should be stopped before workers leave the operator's seat; and 3. loaders should be adequately maintained and serviced to keep them in safe and proper operating condition
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; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agriculture; Equipment-operators; Farmers; Women
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-99MN027; 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