NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Farmer dies after being pinned between large bale and tractor 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 99MN029, 1999 Dec; :1-2
A 63-year-old male farmer (victim) died after he was pinned between a large bale and a tractor loader. The victim used a tractor equipped with a front-end loader to remove a large bale from the ditch of a public road. He apparently planned to use chains to pull the bale out of the ditch before lifting it with the loader. He turned the tractor perpendicular to the road and stopped it with the front wheels at the top of the ditch. The victim got off the tractor and entered the ditch with several chains to wrap around the bale. While the victim wrapped the chains around the bale, the tractor rolled into the ditch and came to rest against the bale. The loader apparently was raised high enough that it slid across the top of the bale and wedged the bale between the front of the tractor and the loader. The victim was apparently along side the bale positioning the chains when the tractor rolled into the ditch. After the loader skidded across the top of the bale, the victim was pinned against the bale by the loader. Two passing motorists noticed the tractor against the bale, stopped to investigate and discovered the victim. One of the motorists got on the tractor and raised the loader while the other helped the victim to the ground. While one of the motorists stayed with the victim, the other drove to a nearby farm and placed a call to emergency personnel. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene shortly after being notified and transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead several hours later. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. operators should set vehicle parking brakes or shift transmissions to the park position when vehicles are stopped; and 2. machine engines should be stopped before workers leaving the operator's seat.
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; Tractors
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-99MN029; 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