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Part-time farmer 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 02WV003, 2002 Jun; :1-5
On January 26, 2002, a 57-year-old male part-time farmer (victim) died of injuries sustained when the tractor he was driving rolled over while transporting a round hay bale. The victim was using a 63-year-old tricycle front-end configured tractor. The tractor was equipped with a front-end loader and a locally-fabricated round bale spear attachment. The attachment was estimated to have weighed 400 pounds. Just prior to the fatal incident, he was moving a large round bale from the storage area. The bale was estimated to have weighed an additional 800 pounds. He elevated the bale and began to transport it to the feeding ring. Traversing a 40% grade slope (22 degrees), with his left rear wheel on the downhill side, he began to further elevate the load to clear the top of the ring. As the total load, now weighing approximately 1,200 pounds, was elevated the tractor's center of gravity (C.G.) shifted forward and downhill. This shift placed the C.G. outside of the tractor's stability baseline, causing the tractor to roll downhill to the left and to land on the victim. The tractor did not have a rollover protective structure (ROPS) or a seat belt. The land owner came out to the field to check on the worker and found him lying on the ground. He called the victim's wife who in turn called emergency services. The EMS and county sheriff arrived within minutes and found no signs of life. The medical examiner estimated that the victim had died immediately after tractor impact. 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 and a seat belt. 2. Convert tricycle-configured tractors to a wide front-end configuration. 3. Prior to their placement, evaluate the location of feeding rings for hazards which can compromise a tractor's stability during bale transport.
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; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Farmers; Tractors; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-02WV003; 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