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Tractor operator was killed in an overturn while moving a sandblasting trailer.

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 99IA005, 1999 Jul; :1-5
During the winter of 1999 a man was killed while operating a narrow-front tractor at a rural business location in Iowa. The man was the owner of a sand blasting company and was in the process of moving a sandblasting trailer on his acreage. This homemade sandblasting trailer had previously been filled with sand by an employee who then parked the trailer in an undesirable location, slightly downhill from the main driveway. The trailer for the sandblaster had a high-mounted tongue, and the support jack for this trailer was in an extended position, therefore it was impossible to hook the trailer directly to the tractor draw bar. The man attached a chain from the trailer tongue to the front-end loader bucket. He lifted the tongue off the ground, then tried to back uphill with the tractor. The sand blasting trailer was full of sand and very heavy. It had snowed recently, and the victim was having difficulty getting sufficient traction while backing uphill in this position. Realizing he needed more pulling power, he attached a 50-foot chain from the tractor draw bar to the rear of a compressor truck used in the business. The man's wife drove the truck, following hand signals from her husband. The truck was positioned on the entrance road to the acreage, slightly at an angle from the tractor and the sandblasting trailer. As they began to pull and move ahead, the truck turned slightly to its right down the driveway. This created a situation where the chains were pulling the tractor at an angle creating sideways forces at both attachment points. These forces caused the tractor to overturn to its left side, killing the operator underneath. The tractor did not have a Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS). Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. To avoid overturns, operators of heavy equipment should pay special attention to the attachment points and direction of pull while towing other equipment. 2. All tractors should be equipped with Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS). 3. Narrow-front tractors (tricycle type) should not be equipped with front-end loaders.
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; Tractors
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-99IA005; 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