An 87 year-old dairy farmer (the victim) was pinned between the bucket and frame of a skid-steer loader after the bucket lowered while he was entering the machine with the bucket raised. The victim had been working with his son and grandson (co-workers) on the family farm, using a skid-steer loader to haul rocks from a cornfield to the rock pile in a wooded area at the edge of the field. After the last load of rocks was loaded into the bucket of the loader, the co-workers left the field to deliver a truck to another field. They planned to meet the victim at the farmyard after he dumped the load of rocks. The victim drove the loader to the rock pile, and exited the loader for an unknown reason with the bucket raised. It was his habit to exit and enter the loader this way, because knee and hip pain made it difficult for him to climb over the bucket. While returning from the second field, the co-workers noticed the loader was still at the rock pile, with blue smoke rising in the area. They went to the loader and saw the victim on the ground in front of the loader, pinned between the bucket and frame. The loader engine was still running, so they turned it off and checked the victim for signs of life. Although he appeared lifeless, they left the bucket in place to avoid causing additional injuries. Then they drove to the farmyard to call for emergency services. They immediately returned to the scene and directed EMS responders and sheriffs to the victim's location. An EMS responder started the loader engine and raised the bucket so the victim could be removed. EMS workers called for air ambulance services, which arrived within twenty minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician from the air ambulance. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, farmers should: 1. Enter or exit a skid-steer loader only when the bucket or other attachment is on the ground, or when lift-arm supports are in place. 2. Seek and use the services of organizations and agencies that provide technical assistance and/or adaptive equipment to agricultural workers with physical impairments. 3. Carry personal communication devices when working in remote worksites. In addition, farm family members should: 4. Develop an action plan for first response to emergencies.
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; First-aid; Rescue-measures; Disabled-workers