A 61-year-old retiree was crushed to death when the tractor he was operating turned over on him. At 4:30 pm, the victim was bush-hogging a pasture on his farm, driving a tractor pulling a five-foot-wide, three-point hitch rotary bush-hog. The tractor was not equipped with a Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) or a seat belt. Mowing the outer perimeter of the pasture, the victim was on the first pass outlining the field. An eroded ravine forced the victim to go up the hill along the edge of the rose-briar-filled 18-foot-wide ditch. The left front and rear tractor wheels began sliding into the ravine, causing the victim to lose control. As the tractor continued over the edge, it rolled over into the ditch and onto the victim. The victim was pinned between the tire, fender and tractor seat. He was discovered at 7:15 pm by his brother-in-law, and pronounced dead at 8:55 pm by the deputy coroner.

In order to prevent similar occurrences in the future, the FACE investigator concluded that:

  • Tractors should be retro­fitted with Roll Over Protective Structures and seatbelts.
  • Safety professionals should offer training for part­time farmers.

Additionally, county officials should initiate a 911 emergency calling service.

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