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Farmer asphyxiated when entangled in drives of box-type manure spreader.

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 04IA058, 2008 Dec; :1-6
A 43-year-old farmer from north central Iowa died in the fall of 2004 when he became entangled in the drive mechanism for a box-type manure spreader's distributor/beater and bottom conveyor. The victim was operating the tractor and manure spreader on a narrow strip of land near the farmstead on the farm he rented. He stopped the tractor and left the operator's position with the tractor's engine running and the tractor's power takeoff (PTO) engaged. The tractor's PTO output shaft continued to deliver power to the spreader and onward through its horizontal side shaft to the gearbox for the beater and conveyor drives at the right rear corner of the spreader. The event was unwitnessed, but at some point the victim's clothing was caught and became entangled in the chain drives of the spreader, pulling the victim inward toward the moving mechanism, further entangling him. There was no guarding on the horizontal side shaft or the sprockets and chains at the right rear corner of the spreader where the victim became entangled. Recommendations: 1. Tractor operators should disengage all PTO-powered mechanisms and stop the tractor's engine before leaving the tractor operator's station, or get assistance from a coworker to inspect moving machinery parts from a safe distance. 2. Powered moving machinery parts of agricultural equipment should have the manufacturer's recommended guarding maintained in place to perform its intended function. 3. Operators should avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing or clothes that have loose or frayed ends that could be caught in moving machinery parts. 4. Machinery should be maintained to minimize breakdowns and interruptions of work tasks.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Motor-vehicles; Agriculture; Farmers; Equipment-design; Agricultural-machinery
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-04IA058; 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