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Farmer entangled in unguarded rotating motor drive-shaft on farm-modified ear-corn elevator.

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 08MI134, 2009 Oct; :1-9
In the fall of 2008, a 58-year­old male farmer died due to asphyxiation when his clothing became entangled in an ear-corn conveyor rotating motor drive-shaft. The elevator was powered by two hydraulic lines connected to the tractor. The unguarded motor drive-shaft had four bolts, one on each side of the shaft's connecting hub, that extended at least two inches from the shaft. The decedent's left sleeve became caught on the bolts as the shaft rotated. The corn elevator and the gravity box he was unloading were empty. His son, who came out to help him, found him lying on the ground with his head resting on the motor and his shirt tightly wrapped around his upper torso and neck. His son ran to the house and called for his mother to come outside. While emergency response was en-route, the decedent's son found a knife and attempted to cut the decedent's clothing away from him. Police and emergency response arrived and declared the decedent dead. The police and medical examiner freed the decedent from his entangled clothing. Recommendations: 1.) Farmers should inspect all farm equipment to ensure that all exposed rotating or moving parts are guarded/shielded. If guards/shields are missing, appropriate guarding should be installed. 2.) Farmers should ensure farm-modified equipment is constructed using appropriate parts. 3.) Farmers should consider adding a shut off/bypass valve on the hydraulic motor for trash removal near the motor unit. 4.) Machine operators should not wear loose-fitting or frayed clothing. Operators should be aware that jackets and sweatshirts with draw-strings can also be caught in unguarded rotating/moving parts.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Clothing; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-clothing; Work-environment; Work-operations; 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-08MI134; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division