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Farmer dies from being entangled in unguarded PTO unit on hay elevator.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
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 95WI096, 1996 Nov; :1-4
A 79-year-old male farm worker (the victim) died after becoming entangled in the rotating driveline of a portable hay elevator. The elevator was connected to a tractor equipped with a power take-off (PTO), which powered the chain and sprocket drive of the elevator. Neither the tractor PTO stub shaft, the drive line nor the chain and sprocket were guarded. The victim was working with his son (the farmer) and other family members in the farmyard, loading hay bales into the barn for animal feed. They had completed the loading activities, and the victim was in the process of cleaning and lubricating the elevator chain with an oiled cloth. He was standing next to the operating elevator, with his back to the PTO driveline, when his coat was caught and pulled by the rotating driveline. He was flipped over the driveline, and landed on the ground on the other side of the tractor, tearing his left arm off at the shoulder. A family member heard him yell and looked in the direction where the victim had been working. She saw him lying on the ground, called for help and ran to assist him. The farmer shut off the tractor and applied direct pressure to the wound while the family member called for emergency services. The ground ambulance and helicopter ambulance arrived within twenty minutes, and sheriff's deputies arrived soon after. The victim was transported to a regional trauma center by the air ambulance, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, farm machine/equipment operators should: 1. Identify rotating or moving machinery/equipment components, such as PTO drivelines, and ensure that appropriate guards are installed. 2. Observe and follow all applicable safety precautions when operating machinery driven by tractor power take-off equipment, including disengaging the PTO and stopping the tractor engine before approaching the machinery. 3. Avoid wearing clothing that is loose-fitting, or has portions that could be caught by moving machine parts and lead to entanglement. In addition, farmers should: 4. Include safety management as an integral part of their business operation.
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-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Farmers; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Tractors; Clothing; Machine-guarding
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-95WI096; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division