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Farmer dies after becoming entangled in unguarded driveline on a corn auger 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 95WI108, 1996 Nov; :1-4
An 82-year-old male farmer (the victim) died after becoming entangled in the driveline of a portable grain auger. The auger was connected to a tractor equipped with a power take-off (PTO) stub shaft, which powered the driveline of the auger. The PTO stub shaft on the tractor and the auger PTO driveline were shielded, but the secondary drive shaft on the auger was unguarded. The victim was working with his business partner (the partner) in a farmyard, transferring shelled corn from a truck into a grain bin. He had warned family members about the hazard of contacting the rotating drive shaft of the grain auger, and would walk around the tractor and auger to avoid contacting the driveline. The victim had knee surgery four months before the incident, and continued to experience knee pain and stiffness. When his knees were uncomfortable, he occasionally ducked under the elevated corn auger to get to the other side rather than walking the longer distance around the equipment. Immediately before the incident, the victim was standing next to the operating auger, at a point where the drive shaft was approximately four feet from the ground, when his shirt was caught and pulled by the rotating driveline. The shirt fabric was wound around the approximately 1 1/4 inch diameter drive shaft and the victim was pulled against the auger. The partner had walked toward the truck a few moments before the incident occurred. He heard the tractor motor stop, then looked in the direction where the victim had been working. He saw him entangled in the shaft, with his face turning blue. The partner tried to pull and cut away the shirt fabric to free the victim from the shaft, but was unsuccessful. He then went across the road to call EMS services. Emergency vehicles arrived, and the victim's body was freed from the machine and 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 all rotating machinery/equipment components, and ensure that appropriate guards, recommended by the manufacturer or dealer, 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. Never step under or over a rotating shaft. 4. Avoid wearing clothing that is loose-fitting, torn or ragged, or has details that could be caught by moving machine parts and lead to entanglement. In addition, agricultural businesses should: 5. 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; Machine-guarding; Safety-personnel
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-95WI108; 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