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Farm youth dies after becoming entangled in the unloading beaters of a forage wagon.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 05MN036, 2005 Oct; :1-3
A 13-year-old farm youth died after he became entangled in the beaters of a forage wagon. On the day of the incident, the victim was helping his cousin feed cattle in a farm pasture. They were using a tractor and a power-take-off (PTO) driven forage wagon to feed hay to the cattle. At the time of the incident, the victim's cousin was operating the tractor and wagon and the victim was on the ground near the wagon. The forage wagon was connected to the tractor's drawbar and its power-take-off shaft. When the tractor's PTO drive mechanism was engaged, it operated the wagon's unloading mechanism including two unloading beaters mounted across the front of the wagon. The beaters broke apart the forage in the wagon as two "conveyors" apron chains that were also driven by the tractor's PTO shaft moved it to the front of the wagon. While the victim and his cousin were unloading hay from the wagon, clumps of hay lodged near the front of the wagon. Before the victim's cousin could stop the tractor's PTO, the victim climbed on the front of the wagon to dislodge the clumps of hay. He placed one or both of his legs inside the front end of the wagon in an attempt to kick free the clogged hay. When he did, the legs of his pants became entangled in the beaters. The tractor operator noticed the victim becoming entangled in the beaters, stopped the tractor's PTO and rushed to the victim. He saw that the victim was caught between the beaters so he ran to others at the farm and notified them of the incident. A 911 call was placed to emergency personnel who soon arrived at the scene. They assisted in removing the victim from the beaters. After the victim was removed, he was taken to a nearby medical facility where he was pronounced dead. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. Working youth should only be assigned age appropriate tasks. 2. Operators should, whenever possible disengage the power-take-off before dismounting from a tractor, and, 3. Workers should not wear loose-fitting clothing near or while operating machines.
Region-5; 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; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Tractors; Farmers; Age-factors; Age-groups; Children; Equipment-operators; Clothing; Machine-operation; Machine-operators
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-05MN036; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division