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Golf course worker dies after being pinned under an overturned tee box mower.

Michigan State University
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 05MI060, 2007 Jan; :1-8
On June 13, 2005, a 19-year-old male golf course worker died after being pinned under an overturned tee box mower. The oval tee box was on a plateau with three gently sloping sides except for the east-side bank, which dropped off 19 feet with a 49-degree slope into trees. The deceased had made three passes in a diagonal motion across the tee box, turning at the edge of the tee green on the collar (longer grass area) after each pass. When he reached the collar area, he raised the reels, turned the mower, and then engaged the reels down. After this third cut, the incident occurred. The back wheel of the mower went over the edge of the collar, and the mower began to slide down the slope. The mower hit a small tree, and the mower overturned. The mower came to rest on top of the deceased at the base of the slope against some trees. A coworker found him under the mower. 911 was called and emergency personnel arrived. They pronounced him dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Golf course superintendents should conduct a full, hole-by-hole vehicle rollover risk assessment, measuring slopes and drop heights, in order to determine the best method of machine operation and machinery to be used. 2. Course designers should provide adequate clearance for mowers to operate safely on the perimeter of an elevated tee or green. 3. MIOSHA should consider updating the General Industry Safety Standard Powered Groundskeeping Standard, Part 54 to reflect the updated ANSI B71.4-2004 safety specification standard for commercial turf care equipment. 4. MIOSHA/OSHA should consider requiring a certified operator protection system (such as rollover protection structure (ROPS)/seatbelt) for groundskeeping equipment that could be operated in a location where a rollover potential exists. 5. Riding mower manufacturers are encouraged to develop a ROPS/seatbelt retrofit attachment for existing equipment under 20 HP. 6. Employee training should include review of written material, such as the machine operator's manual. Additionally, MIFACE recommends that: 7. All workers on the course, when working alone, should be equipped with a company-supplied communication device.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Training; Work-operations; Safety-equipment; Work-areas; Work-performance; Equipment-operators; Equipment-design; Safety-education; Safety-programs; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures
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-05MI060; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division