A 56-year-old grain farmer was killed when the seat of his tractor fell off while driving through a washout area in a cornfield. The man was driving a 1950's model two-cylinder tricycle-type tractor, pulling a rear-mounted rotary mower. His other tractor was in the shop, so he was using this older tractor. He had recently rented the field and was working it the first time, mowing corn stalks and preparing the field for spring planting. While mowing, he drove into what appeared to be a washout from a tile standpipe. The force of the jolt knocked the seat and the farmer off the tractor. The man fell into the washout area, and the mower ran over him, causing fatal head injuries. He was found dead the next day. This tractor model had a sliding seat attachment for adjusting the seat position with a spring-loaded pin locking the seat in place. This pin was damaged, and was not able to keep the seat firmly in place. There are metal tabs at the end of the tracks keeping the seat from sliding off the tracks. Apparently these stops were not adequate, and the seat slid back, and separated from its base. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Owners/operators of tractors should ensure that the tractor seat is in good condition and firmly attached to the base. 2. Tractors should be equipped with ROPS and seatbelt, which should be used when mowing. 3. Equipment manufacturers should design the seat support structure to withstand use in demanding conditions for the lifetime of the tractor. 4. Farmers should be alert for washouts and other hazardous conditions in fields and repair them, or clearly mark them, to avoid injury.
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; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Safety-belts