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45-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 04IA059, 2005 Jun; :1-6
During the fall of 2004, a 45-year-old Iowa farmer was killed when he became entangled in the exposed shaft of a silage conveyor pulley. He was mixing and feeding silage to his herd of heifers. Hay silage from an oxygen-limiting silo was mixed with corn silage from another silo, and the conveyor belt carried the mixture to a feed bunk 60 feet (27 m) long. The mixing took place in a shed between the two silos, which were approximately 10 feet (3 m) apart. Controls for the silo unloaders were mounted on the walls of each silo. The hay silo had a control switch box, while the corn silo was controlled from a breaker panel. This panel also controlled the conveyor belt motor. This configuration of switches required the farmer to walk around the exposed end of the conveyor belt at least three times during each feeding cycle. The shaft for the conveyor belt pulley extended about three inches (75 mm) beyond the bearings on each side. A keyway was cut into the length of the 1-inch (25 mm) diameter shaft, and there was no guard around the conveyor belt or the shaft. The injury occurred when the farmer apparently leaned or bent over too close to the shaft. The hood of his nylon jacket became entangled in the exposed shaft end. The hood and arm of his jacket wound up in the shaft strangling him and stalling the conveyor. Silage kept piling up from the silo, and the conveyor motor and drive kept running, eventually burning through the west end of the stalled conveyor belt. The victim was discovered by his wife. He had suffered fatal injuries before rescuers arrived. 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 near 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-04IA059; 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