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A farmer was killed while bypass-starting his tractor.

Oklahoma State 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 05OK019, 2006 Feb; :1-5
A 67-year-old farmer died on February 23, 2005 from crushing injuries after being run over by a tractor that he was attempting to bypass-start. The decedent was using a tractor to transport a large bale of hay to a field when the tractor died and would not restart. The victim walked to a barn where his wife was working, and they drove a pickup truck to the area where the tractor was located. While standing between the tractor and truck, the victim connected jumper cables to both vehicles and touched a metal wrench to the starter to bypass the ignition. When the engine started, the tractor moved forward and ran over the farmer. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead later that same day. Agriculture requires a lot of work, and shortcuts may be tempting, but they are often dangerous. Bypass-starting is one of the more hazardous shortcuts. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, farmers should: 1. Ensure that tractor engines are started from the operator's seat with the transmission and power take-off in neutral and the parking brake engaged. 2. Follow safe start-up procedures included in the operator's manual and designated by decals on the tractor. 3. Ensure that tractors are properly shut down after each use. 4. Periodically check the working condition of safety start switches and arrange to have any malfunctions repaired promptly. Additionally, 5. Rural emergency medical services should have the ability to quickly locate trauma victims and transport them to the appropriate level of care.
Region-6; 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; Agricultural-machinery; Agriculture; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Farmers; Tractors
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-05OK019; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division