A 70-year-old farmer (the victim) was killed while mowing his pasture. He had completed mowing around the top of a ridge, and was beginning to mow the sloping sections, when the power take-off (PTO) shaft connecting the rotary mower (bushhog) to the tractor came off. When he attempted to re-attach the shaft, the tractor began to roll down the steep slope; he lost control as it descended into the hollow. Apparently he attempted to jump from the left side of the tractor and his right foot became wedged between the high/low shift lever; as a result his body went under the left rear tire and was caught between the tire, the ground, and a cement water basin. Emergency medical services (EMS) were called, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar incidents, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Machinery should be kept in good working condition.
  • Operators of ROPS (rollover protective structure) -equipped tractors should always wear seatbelts.

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number

96KY073; 96KY07301