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Farmer dies after being injured while attempting to pull a machine from a wet field.

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 05MN046, 2006 Jan; :1-5
A 46-year-old male farmer (victim) died from injuries sustained while using a four-wheel drive tractor to pull a farm machine from a wet field. Earlier that day a forage chopper operated by a hired worker became stuck in the field. The victim drove a four-wheel drive tractor to the field to pull the chopper from where it was stuck. He hooked one end of a flexible fabric tow strap commonly called a "snap strap" to the chopper and the other end of it to the tractor. A U-shaped clevis and steel pin was used at each end of the strap to connect it to the tractor and the chopper. While the victim tried to pull the chopper free, the pin in the clevis hooked to the chopper started to bend. As the pin bent, the clevis spread apart and suddenly unhooked. The clevis was propelled toward the tractor, shattered the rear window of the tractor cab and struck the victim. After being struck, the victim lost control of the tractor and it began to travel across the field. The worker who had been operating the chopper observed the incident and ran to the victim's nearby farm site. He notified the victim's brother and two other workers of the incident and then placed a call to emergency personnel. The victim's brother and the other workers went to the field and found the tractor in an adjacent ditch where it was hung up on a large hay bale. They stopped the tractor engine and removed the unconscious victim from the tractor cab. They transported him to a local hospital where he died five days later from injuries he sustained during the incident. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. workers should only use towing components such as chains, clevises and snap straps that can withstand the forces exerted by towing units to which they are connected; and, 2. workers should hitch towed loads only to the tractor drawbar.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Protective-measures; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Tractors; Farmers; Equipment-operators; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agriculture
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-05MN046; 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