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Farmer crushed against tractor tire by gravity flow wagon box while unhitching.

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 05IA034, 2006 Jun; :1-7
A 23-year-old, part-time farmer from northeast Iowa was fatally injured while working alone on his farmstead late in the spring of 2005. He had towed a gravity-flow wagon filled with 150 bushels (5.3 m3) of shelled corn behind his 70 Hp (52 kw) row-crop tractor to the top of a slight knoll in the gravel driveway between the house and machine storage shed. A cement block (silo stave) was placed in front of the right rear wheel of the wagon to block it from rolling forward when the wagon was unhooked from the tractor. Returning to the hitch area, the farmer pulled the hitch pin to disconnect the wagon from the tractor. The wagon moved forward crushing him against the tractor's left rear wheel. The farmer was found by his brother, who had come to meet him at the farm. The brother immediately telephoned for emergency assistance. First responders found the tractor with its engine still running, its transmission in neutral, and its brake set. The left front corner of the fully loaded gravity-flow box pressed against the farmer's chest, pinning him with his back against the tread of the left rear tire of the tractor. The wagon was pulled back about 8-feet from the tractor to free the victim. Resuscitation efforts at the scene were unsuccessful. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Providers of gravity flow wagons and users of them should consider equipping wagons with mechanical means such as wheel brakes or chocks to prevent unintended movement when they are unhitched on uneven or sloping terrain. 2. Tractor operators should securely block (chock) the rear axle wheels of wagons with appropriate chocks before unhitching a wheeled implement such as a wagon that could move on uneven or sloping terrain. 3. Farmers should evaluate the worksite and equipment to be used, preferring firm level terrain on which to work and uncomplicated equipment logistics.
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; Equipment-operators; Farmers; Machine-operation; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Rescue-measures; Work-practices
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-05IA034; 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: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division