Farmer Crushed Under Tractor’s Tires


I’m Glen Dunsmore, an occupational hygiene
officer with WorkSafeBC. This farm was the scene of a tragic accident
involving a tractor. Here’s what happened. On farms, tractors are commonly used to tow
liquid manure spreaders. A tractor operator had backed a liquid manure
spreader up to a manure pond to fill its 4,500-gallon tank. Once full, the manure spreader weighed over
50,000 pounds – almost twice as much as the tractor pulling it. As the operator tried to move the tractor
forward, the loaded manure spreader rolled backwards into the pond, pulling the tractor
to the pond’s edge. The operator exited the tractor cab and got
caught in the spinning left rear wheels. He was pulled beneath them and pushed out
behind the tractor. The operator died of his injuries. Let’s look at the main causes of this accident. The edge of the pond did not have a barrier. If practicable, a barrier must be installed
to prevent equipment from falling into or inadvertently entering the pond. The manure spreader did not have a braking
system. The manual for the tractor states that towed
vehicles that weigh more than the tractor must be equipped with brakes for safe operation. The operator exited the cab of the tractor
while its wheels were still spinning. Always put the transmission in park or neutral
and set the parking brake before exiting the cab. Tractor accidents are the leading cause of
deaths on farms in B.C. This accident was preventable. Work safely; your life depends on it.

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