A 56-year-old male part-time logger (the victim) died while trying to push over a dead tree with a tractor when he was knocked off the tractor and pinned under the rear tire. The incident occurred on an 80-acre plot of partially wooded land owned by the victim, along a logging road. Three volunteer co-workers were assisting the victim in clearing dead and fallen trees from the road. The victim was operating a Ford 4000 farm tractor with a front bucket attachment to knock down and remove trees, with a co-worker standing by for assistance. Another co-worker was cutting a tree nearby, while the fourth worker was moving a truck to avoid having it be struck by falling trees. The victim elevated the bucket till it was about ten feet high, then struck the trunk of a decayed tree with the bucket. The tree did not fall, so he struck it again with the bucket. This time, the top half of the tree cracked off and fell toward the victim sitting in the tractor seat. He leaned to the right to avoid the falling tree, but was knocked from the seat and fell in front of the right rear tractor tire. The tractor came to rest with the tire on his chest. The standby co-worker yelled for help, and the other two co-workers ran immediately to the scene. They pulled a large log in front of the tractor tire where the victim was pinned, then one co-worker drove the tractor forward onto the log while the other two pulled the victim out from behind the tire. One co-worker drove to a cabin to phone for help, while the others initiated CPR. EMS responders were at the scene in eleven minutes, and the victim was transported to a hospital. Advanced cardiac life support protocols were initiated in the ambulance and continued at the emergency room, where the victim expired. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, farm tractor operators should: 1. Follow tractor and bucket loader manufacturers' recommendations when using a bucket. 2. Use only tractors that are equipped with falling object protective structures (FOPS) when working in a situation where objects might fall on the operator.
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-workers; Agriculture; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Tractors