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Farmer dies after becoming entangled in unguarded PTO unit on corn sheller in Wisconsin.

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 95WI102, 1996 Nov; :1-3
A 68-year-old male dairy farmer (the victim) died after becoming entangled in the PTO driveline of a portable corn sheller. The sheller was connected to a tractor equipped with a power take-off (PTO) stub, which powered the drive line of the sheller. The victim was working with his two sons and a grandson in a farmyard, shelling corn. He had warned family members about the hazard of contacting the moving parts of PTO-operated equipment, and usually took precautions to avoid being caught in the rotating equipment. Immediately before the incident, the victim was standing next to the sheller, feeding corn in, when a cob got jammed in the sheller. When he tried to unjam the machine with his hand, it was caught and pulled by the drive belt on the sheller. The victim moved back to pull his hand out, causing his coat hem to touch the unguarded PTO driveline. The coat fabric was caught by the driveline, and the victim was pulled against the driveline shaft. His son heard a noise, and looked in the direction where the victim had been working. He saw he father entangled in the machine and sent the victim's grandson to call for emergency services. The son cut away the clothing to free the victim from the driveline, and started CPR. Emergency vehicles arrived, and continued CPR services. The victim was transported to a hospital 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 drive lines, 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, torn or ragged, or has portions that could be caught by moving machine parts and lead to entanglement. In addition, agricultural businesses 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; Tractors; Clothing; Safety-personnel; 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-95WI102; 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