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Farmer grading field pinned under overturned tractor.

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 10MI021, 2011 Dec; :1-8
In the winter of 2010, a 71-year-old male farmer died when he was pinned by a tractor that overturned while grading a hay field edge next to a ditch. The decedent was operating a narrow-front (tricycle) tractor that was equipped with a home-made wooden push blade. The decedent was grading a field next to a ditch to lower a "dirt hill". He had made several passes. He was traveling east when the front of his tractor began to slide down into the ditch. The decedent was unable to jump off the tractor as the tractor overturned and the tractor came to rest on top of him. The decedent had been observed by a neighbor who was driving past. When the neighbor returned approximately 15 minutes later, she saw the overturned tractor and called for emergency response. Emergency response arrived and declared him dead at the scene. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Select an appropriate machine for the task. In this incident, a rollover protective structure (ROPS) fitted unit should be the preferred unit, but a newer tractor with a 3-point hitch rear-mounted blade or a track-type dozer with a front blade would have been better suited to move the soil. 2. Retrofit older tractors with properly designed, manufactured and installed ROPS and seat belt if an approved ROPS/seatbelt is available. 3. Limit use of narrow-front (tricycle) tractors to tasks with low risk for overturn. Tricycle tractors may not be suitable for use with push blades or front-end loaders. 4. Michigan farmers with disabilities should contact Michigan AgrAbility (800-956-4106) to obtain information and assistance to accommodate their impairment and safely farm. 5. Establish a farm safety plan. Although the following recommendation would not have prevented this fatality, MIFACE concluded that as a matter of prudent safe tractor operation, farmers should, ensure any implement of husbandry, such as a tractor, when used on a public roadway has a slow moving vehicle sign.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Equipment-operators; Farmers; Tractors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Engineering-controls; Author Keywords: Tricycle tractor; narrow-front tractor; mowing slope; rollover protective structure (ROPS); farmer; Agriculture
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-10MI021; 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