During the fall of 2003 a 60-year-old farmer was killed in a tractor rollover while putting in a fence post on his farm. He was working with his son, using the front bucket of his tractor to push a wooden fence post into the ground. The men were working in an area of pasture which had a slight slope to the right front of the tractor. The son was holding the 6-inch post upright, while his father on the tractor positioned the front bucket, half-filled with dirt, on top of the post. They were using the hydraulics of the tractor to push and/or ram the post into the ground, a procedure successfully completed with "thousands of fence posts" on their farm without apparent problems. However, that day the ground was fairly dry, and the post did not penetrate the soil more than six inches. Suddenly, the bucket slipped off the post, and the bucket snapped downward with sufficient force and momentum that it caused the rear of the tractor to lift up. The wide-front tractor then rolled over on its right side down the slope, stopping momentarily, then continuing to roll until it had righted itself again. The farmer was fatally crushed as the tractor rolled over, and was found on the ground to the left of the machine. There was no ROPS on the tractor. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. All tractors should be equipped with Roll Over Protective Structures. 2. Factory installed Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS) should not be removed from tractors. 3. Alternate methods of installing fence posts should be considered.
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; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment