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12-year-old farm boy dies while hitching up hay wagon.

Iowa Department of Public 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 04IA017, 2005 Jun; :1-7
In early summer 2004, a 12-year-old boy was killed while helping a farmer, his uncle, hitch a hay wagon to a truck. They had been baling hay the day before and, next morning, were preparing to unload the hay bales from the hay wagon/hayrack, which was parked in the farmyard. The farmer was driving a 1-ton flatbed truck, which he had just backed up to the front of the hay wagon. The boy jumped out of the truck to hitch up the wagon, and when he lifted the tongue on the wagon, the wagon apparently started to slowly roll forward toward the truck. The boy failed to get the tongue hitched to the rear of the truck, and the wagon continued its slow forward roll, pinching the boy's head between the wagon and the rear of the truck's metal bed. The farmer, sitting in the driver's seat of the truck, felt nothing unusual. Suddenly, not seeing the boy, he jumped out and ran back to find him slumped over the tongue of the wagon, and a large pool of blood on the ground. The boy was dead at the scene. The tongue of the wagon had bulldozed into the ground, indicating that the wagon had moved forward. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Farm wagons without parking brakes should always have their wheels chocked to prevent them from rolling, especially when parked on rolling or sloping ground. 2. When hitching wagons to towing vehicles, farmers and farm workers should stand safely to one side, out of the hitching area, where they can see the hitch and communicate directions to the vehicle operator. 3. Manufacturers of farm wagon running gear and other wagons should consider providing parking brakes, chocks, or other reliable means to secure wagons when they are parked.
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; Agricultural-industry; Agriculture; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Farmers; Children
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-04IA017; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division