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Seasonal lawn mower operator crushed and dies after lawn mower rolls over on a 30 degree slope.

University of Kentucky
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 15KY041, 2016 Aug; :1-7
On July 24, 2015, a 22-year-old lawn mower operator was killed when he was involved in a lawn mower rollover incident. The victim was mowing horizontally on a hill with a 30 degree slope when his mower slid down the hill and rolled onto him. Landscaper crewmembers also working in the area discovered the victim pinned beneath the mower at the bottom of the slope and immediately removed the lawn mower from on top of the victim, discovering he was deceased. The medical examiner identified the cause of death as asphyxia caused by chest compression. Contributing Factors: Key contributing factors identified include: 1. Operating a riding mower on a slope that exceeds manufacturer's specifications. 2. The SCAG turf tiger riding mower was not equipped with a rollover protection structure. 3. The employee was working alone. Recommendations for Prevention: 1. Never operate a lawn mower on a slope that exceeds the angle limits specified by the lawn mower manufacturer; use lawn maintenance equipment designated for steep slopes. 2. To prevent rollover injuries, riding lawn mowers should be equipped with roll-over protective structures (ROPS) and seat belts. 3. Employees should receive safety training on slope mowing with riding lawn mowers that includes slope calculation, manufacturer specifications, and terrain assessment. 4. Employers should consider implementing a buddy system when working in hazardous areas such as steep slopes.
Region-4; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Fatalities; Traumatic-injuries; Landscape services workers; Lawn and garden equipment; Equipment operators; Equipment design; Equipment operation; Rollover protective structures; ROPS; Safety practices; Safety belts; Safety equipment; Author Keywords: Landscaping; Mowing; Steep slope; ROPS
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
Identifying No.
FACE-15KY041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008483
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division