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Farmwife was killed as a gravity flow wagon filled with beans tipped over on her.

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 98IA067, 1999 Apr; :1-6
In October 1998, a 50-year-old Iowa farmwife was killed when a grain wagon tipped over on its side, crushing her underneath. The wagon was filled with soybeans and was being pulled in from the field. While going through a shallow ditch, the wagon slightly tipped to the right and a few bushels of beans spilled onto the ground. The wagon's grain box had shifted back 120-150 mm (5-6") and fallen from its support on the running gear, causing it to tilt to the right (relative to the direction of travel). The farmwife stopped and left the wagon in this location overnight as further pulling could have worsened the situation. The next morning the farmer and his wife planned to empty the tilted wagon and then lift the grain box back in its proper position. They took an auger and another wagon to the field and began transferring grain from the tilted wagon when it suddenly tipped over on its right side. The grain box was secured to the running gear with chains at two opposite corners, leaving the other corners unattached. This compromised the stability of the wagon and the box tipped over unexpectedly when about one sixth of the beans had been removed. The wife was shoveling up spilled beans on the ground next to the wagon and was instantly pinned under the side of the falling grain box. The farmer tried to dig her out from under the grain, but being unable to do so, summoned for help. Rescue personnel used air bags to lift the wagon, but the woman had died from asphyxiation under the grain box. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Gravity flow wagon manufacturers, dealers, and owners should ensure that grain boxes are securely attached to the running gear at all four corners. 2. Farmers and users of gravity flow wagons should be made aware of the tipping hazard when unloading gravity flow wagons.
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; Women; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture
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-98IA067; 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