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Farmer crushed underneath rotary mower while changing blades.

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 98IA056, 1998 Nov; :1-3
In the spring of 1998 a 76-year-old Iowa farmer was killed while working on a rotary mower in his machine shed. The mower was attached to the three-point hitch of his tractor, which he had backed into a machine shed to change the mower blades. He raised the mower to a sufficient height to work underneath, but did not provide support or blocking for the mower. While he was lying on the floor working on the mower, the tractor hydraulics were leaking and the mower was slowly coming down. He was probably aware of the hydraulic problem, for he had been working with this same tractor and mower for several years. At one point, he apparently tried to roll out from under the mower, but became trapped between the right rear wheel of the mower and the mower deck.. The mower continued to come down and pinned him to the floor, crushing him in the chest. A friend of the victim was expecting him to arrive in town for coffee and began to search for him when he did not appear. The farmer was found dead under the mower in his machine shed. The official cause of death was from suffocation. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Machines should be supported securely during repair and maintenance, especially when working under heavy machine components. 2. Hydraulic systems should be kept in good operating condition.
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; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers
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-98IA056; 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