In the fall of 1998 a 42-year-old farmer was killed while he was loading corn into a grain semi truck. Three men at the farm site were unloading their 3rd or 4th load of corn that morning. The victim was operating one tractor with an attached auger wagon, and was unloading corn from the wagon into the semi from the right side. Another farmer, also operating a tractor and auger wagon, was helping and unloading from the left side, while the truck driver was watching the level in his truck. They used two tractors and auger wagons to speed up loading of the semi. When the front hopper was full, the truck driver began to drive forward. As he was doing this, the victim climbed up the steps of his tractor, apparently to shut down the PTO power to the wagon, to avoid overfilling the truck. Suddenly the truck driver heard a yell, and looking in his right side mirror, he saw nothing, but in the right bubble mirror, he saw a pair of legs and immediately backed up his truck. Also at the same time, the helper on the left side of the truck realized something had happened and was making motions for the truck driver to back up. Evidently, the victim had slipped off the top step of his tractor and fallen backwards, landing immediately in front of the duel tires of the semi tractor as it was moving forward. The man was partially crushed in the right chest and abdomen, receiving significant internal injuries, which lead to his death a few hours later. It had been raining earlier in the day and the ground was very muddy. The victim also had mud on his boots, and a glob of mud was found on the top step of the tractor. He was initially conscious and talking after the accident, recalling how he slipped off the top step of the tractor. The man was taken to a large regional hospital out-of-state, yet died later that same day from severe bleeding and internal injuries. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Tractor manufacturers should give more attention to the safe design of steps and handrails to further increase operator safety. 2. Machinery operators should always maintain "three point contact" when mounting or dismounting equipment.
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-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture