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Farmer crushed under corn planter while changing flat tire - Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public Health
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 96IA041, 1997 Feb; :1-3
A 55-year-old farmer died while changing a tire on a planter. The man had been planting corn earlier in the day without problems, however, when moving the planter to another field, he noticed that the second road tire on the right side of the planter was flat. He stopped in a pasture and began to change the tire. He did not brace up the planter, nor use the mechanical safety catch adjacent to the hydraulic cylinder, which is designed to keep the cylinder extended during maintenance. He crawled under the planter and loosened the bolts on the wheel, but could not get it off. Then he tried to relieve ground pressure on the flat wheel by loosening the hydraulic fitting connected to the wheel hydraulic cylinder. He was obviously not aware that the hydraulic lines to both wheel cylinders were connected. He expected the outside wheel cylinder on that side of the planter to hold the machine up while he relieved ground pressure on the inside wheel. However when the hydraulic line fitting was off, hydraulic fluid immediately gushed out and the entire right side of the planter fell on the victim causing a fatal head injury. The man was killed instantly, but was not discovered until the next day by an employee of his farm. Recommendations following our investigation are: 1. Equipment parts supported by hydraulic systems must be mechanically blocked against motion during maintenance and service. 2. Hydraulic pressure must be relieved before working on any part of the hydraulic system.
Region-7; 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; Personal-protection; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability
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-96IA041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division