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Tractor with cable hitched to tow brush overturned rearward on farmer.

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 03IA022, 2009 Jul; :1-6
A 56-year-old farmer from east central Iowa died early in the spring of 2003. He was clearing brush, limbs, and fallen trees from along a creek gully at the edge of a pasture on his farm. A strip of level ground separated the creek from a berm that ran parallel to it and hid the work area from view of the farmstead. He was dragging the load toward a burn pile using a braided-wire cable. The cable's other end was hitched high above the drawbar at the rear of his old utility tractor. The front of the skidding load dug into the face of the berm as the tractor pulled forward away from the gulley toward the burn pile. The tractor overturned to the rear pinning the victim under its right rear wheel fender. The farmer was working alone and the overturn was not witnessed. His wife was first on the scene late the same afternoon, hours after the incident. Several fire rescue, ambulance, and law enforcement service providers responded to her call for emergency assistance, extricated the victim, and placed the tractor upright on its wheels. The tractor was subsequently sold, dismantled, and its parts resold. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Follow tractor operator's manual recommendations for proper ballast weight, hitching, and towing techniques when towing heavy loads. 2. A Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) should be installed on all tractors for which ROPS are commercially available and the associated seatbelt used whenever the tractor is being operated.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Tractors; Farmers; Agriculture; Agricultural-industry
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-03IA022; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008460
Priority Area
Services; Wholesale and Retail Trade
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