NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

53-year-old cattle farmer entangled in exposed rotating conveyor shaft.

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 04IA060, 2005 Jun; :1-6
During the fall of 2004, a 53-year-old cattle farmer was killed while feeding silage to his herd of 182 beef cattle. He was in the midst of routine feeding chores, working in a feed shed adjacent to two silos and a feed bunk structure. This shed contained two conveyors and an auger for moving silage and feeds from the silos to the feed bunk. This mixing and feeding system had been used for the past 20+ years to supply an outdoor cattle feeding operation. The configuration of conveyors and controls in the shed required the farmer to crouch down and crawl under the feed bunk conveyor several times during each feeding cycle. There was only about 3 foot (90 cm) clearance between the conveyor and the floor. The farmer was accustomed to ducking under the conveyor and had done so for many years. There were many unguarded moving parts in this work area. The shaft for the pulley at the end of the conveyor was too long, extending about 2.5 inches (6 cm) beyond the bearings on both sides of the pulley. The shaft had a keyway, which created sharp-cornered entanglement points on both ends of the shaft. The injury occurred while the farmer was ducking under the conveyor belt. His coat collar was caught and wound up in the exposed rotating shaft. He became entangled and the conveyor belt stalled as the coat wrapped around the shaft. He was found dead at the scene several hours later in the afternoon by a family friend. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Machinery and equipment must be guarded properly to avoid entanglements. 2. Control switches and stationary machinery should be placed so that there is no need to work close to hazardous machine parts. 3. Farmers should carry a communication device for emergency situations. 4. Farmers should wear appropriate, well-maintained clothing for farm work.
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; Protective-measures; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Cattle-industry; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation
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-04IA060; 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