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Dairy farm worker dies following a tractor rollover in West Virginia.

West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services
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 99WV025, 2000 Jan; :1-6
On May 24, 1999, a 38-year-old male dairy farm worker (victim) died of injuries sustained when the tractor he was driving rolled over while transporting a round hay bale. The victim was using an older tricycle configured tractor. The tractor was equipped with a front end loader and a set of after market forks, which were chained on. Just prior to the fatal incident, he had elevated the bale, backed away from the storage pile, and was pulling forward parallel to the pile. He was traversing a 15 degree grade with his right rear wheel on the down hill side. The ground surrounding the storage area was littered with small lumps of hay which had fallen off of previously transported bales. As the left rear wheel (uphill side) rolled over one of the lumps, the tractor's center of gravity shifted forward and downhill. This shift placed the tractor's center of gravity outside of the tractor's stability baseline causing the tractor to roll downhill to the right landing on the victim and pinning him to the ground. The tractor did not have a rollover protective structures (ROPS) or a seat belt. Another worker heard the noise, looked up, and saw the upside down tractor on the victim. He ran to the owner's house. As the owner checked for vital signs, the owner's wife called 911. The EMS arrived within minutes. The tractor was removed from the victim and he was transported to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The coroner estimated that the victim had died immediately after tractor impact. Damage to the steering wheel and to the victim's head suggest that the tractor's steering wheel crushed the victim. The WV FACE investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed by tractor owners: 1. Equip all tractors with rollover protective structures (ROPS) and a seat belt. 2. Convert tricycle configured tractors to a wide front end configuration. 3. Evaluate the work area for hazards which can compromise a tractor's stability prior to each operation. 4. Evaluate the location and its terrain prior to establishing round bale storage areas.
Region-3; 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; Safety-programs; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Farmers; Tractors; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment
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-99WV025; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-312914
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division