During the fall of 2002 a 38-year-old Iowa farmer was killed when his tractor overturned in a cattle feedlot. This narrow-front 1966 model tractor was equipped with a frontend loader, and had been in the family for three decades. The man was moving a small pile of dirt from the farmyard to the feedlot to repair soil erosion next to a building and a feed trough. The area was slightly sloped to the Northeast. The farmer had a full load of dirt in the raised front-end loader bucket. He had just entered the feedlot area, and turned left towards the concrete feed troughs, positioning the tractor to unload the bucket. The overturn was not witnessed and the conditions leading to the overturn are not fully clear. The findings suggest that a combination of several factors may have resulted in the overturn. These factors include narrow front of the tractor, raised front end loader with a heavy load, moving slightly downhill, slightly uneven ground, turning left, and slowing down while turning. These factors may have added to the momentum at this critical point sufficiently overturning the tractor to the right. The tractor rolled 180 degrees, coming to rest upside down. The farmer was crushed underneath and killed instantly. This tractor had no Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS), which would likely have saved this man's life by preventing a complete rollover. However, for this fairly common tractor model, there are no commercially available ROPS on the market. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. All tractors should be equipped with Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS). 2. ROPS should be designed for all common tractor makes and models. 3. Narrow-front (tricycle type) tractors 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; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture