A 91 year-old beef farmer (the victim) was pinned under the drawbar of a farm tractor after fueling the tractor while standing on a stepladder. The fuel cap was located on top of the tractor, about 65 inches high, midway from the front to the operator's seat. The farmer's habit was to place a 4-foot ladder on the tractor body in front of the left rear tire, climb two or three steps with the fuel pump in hand, remove the cap, fill the tank, replace the cap, and climb down the ladder. On the day of the incident, he apparently replaced the cap after adding the fuel, and fell toward the tractor wheel, striking the shift lever and throwing the tractor into a forward gear. As the tractor began to roll forward, the victim and the ladder rolled up and over the left fender and fell upside down. The victim was caught between the left rear wheel and under a drawbar attachment, while the tractor rolled forward about 6 feet until it was stopped when it struck a block wall. The victim was found by his sister-in-law, who went to the farm to investigate when the victim did not answer phone calls for several days. She immediately called for emergency services and notified the victim's neighbor and brother. EMS responders and the sheriff arrived within 15 minutes. The coroner was called, and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. The FACE investigator concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, farmers should: 1. Shift the tractor into park, set the brakes and turn off the engine before dismounting from the tractor. For tractors without a park position, farmers should shift into neutral, set the brakes and turn off the engine before dismounting. 2. Seek and follow medical advice and take precautions to prevent falls if they have medical conditions that could cause loss of balance.
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; Ladders; Step-ladders