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Farmer crushed to death under broken corn planter.

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 99IA011, 1999 Nov; :1-4
During the spring of 1999 a farmer was killed while he was repairing a broken corn planter. The man and his father had just begun to plant corn on their 400-acre farm. The victim's father was driving a tractor pulling the 8-row planter, full of seed corn and fertilizer. The victim was driving another tractor and cultivator. After planting only five acres, the planter broke down at the end of a row. Several 19 mm (3/4 inch) diameter bolts attaching the tongue to the toolbar had broken, and the planter toolbar had dropped down slightly, yet was still holding together. The father drove the planter to the farmyard and his son followed, planning to repair the planter immediately if possible. The planter was parked in a driveway, and the victim crawled underneath to assess the damage. While lying on the ground he could see he needed a long bolt to pull the machine back together. Suddenly without warning, the planter buckled in the region of the broken bolts, and the toolbar and tongue folded upon each other. The entire weight of the planter fell with the toolbar, and the farmer was crushed and killed immediately underneath. The victim's father rushed to call 911, then used two jacks to raise the toolbar off his son. However, rescue efforts were ineffective, and the farmer was dead at the scene. No jacks or blocks were used under the planter before the farmer crawled underneath. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Owners/operators of farm equipment should never work under machines without appropriate support or bracing. 2. Manufacturers of farm equipment/implements should routinely review service calls for their machines and consider recalls or modifications as needed.
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; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; 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-99IA011; 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