A 67-year-old retired farmer (the victim) was killed while mowing a field of the family farm. He had made several passes around the field using a rotary mower recently equipped with new blades by his son. At one end of the field was an approximate 20-foot hill of 15-degree slope. The top of this hill was a plateau across which the tractor could be driven in order to ascend at the end which was less steep. The victim had come close to rolling the tractor over in the past, and so it was never his practice to mow across the hillside. Normally the tractor would be in low gear when descending the 15-degree slope at the other end of the plateau. On this day, however, the tractor did not go into low gear and the victim lost control going down the hill. He was thrown off the tractor when it hit some ruts at the bottom of the hill. The right rear wheel then ran over the victim as the tractor continued to roll for about 80 feet before coming to a stop. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar incidents, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Tractors should be retrofitted with rollover protective structures (ROPS) and seatbelts.
  • Machinery should be kept in good working condition.

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