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From the Centers for Disease Contol's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 44, No. 32 (August 18, 1995):

Injuries Associated with Self-Unloading Forage Wagons--
New York, 1991-1994

In New York, an estimated 3600 injuries occur each year to farmers operating farm machines. In October 1993, the Occupational Health Nurses in Agricultural Communities (OHNAC) program in the New York State Department of Health received a report of a man who sustained severe injuries when he became entangled in the power take-off (PTO) driveline to a self-unloading forage wagon. [A forage wagon is used to transport and unload feed into a storage (e.g., silo) or feed area.] Subsequent investigation by OHNAC identified four additional similar incidents in New York that occurred during September 1991-October 1994, including one fatality and one injury to a 9-year-old girl working on a family farm. This report summarizes the results of the investigation of these forage-wagon related injuries and presents recommendations to reduce the risk for such injuries.

On October 1, 1993, a 66-year-old farmer was using a self-unloading forage wagon to unload chopped corn into a blower for transfer into a silo. To unload the corn, he used a tractor to pull the loaded forage wagon next to the blower (which was attached to a second tractor). To reach the speed-control lever, he stepped over the rotating PTO driveline that connected his tractor to the wagon and supplied its power. As he stepped, his pants became entangled around the unprotected rotating driveline. A nearby worker witnessed the incident and turned off the driveline. The farmer's injuries included amputation of the genitalia and deep tissue damage to the buttocks, requiring extensive grafting. He was hospitalized for 2 weeks and unable to work for 1 month.

On investigation by OHNAC, with assistance from the Cooperative Extension Service, four other incidents were identified since 1991 involving forage wagons with unprotected drivelines. In September 1991, a 33-year-old farmer sustained multiple fractures of the right leg with amputation of the right foot when his shirt blew into a rotating driveline of a forage wagon while he was working between two drivelines on a windy day. In October 1992, a 41-year-old farm operator sustained avulsion of the entire scrotal area when his pants became entangled while he was stepping over the unprotected PTO driveline. In November 1992, a 9-year-old girl sustained bilateral above-the-knee amputations when her jacket became entangled while she was reaching over the unprotected rotating driveline to operate the speed control of the forage wagon she was unloading. Finally, in an unwitnessed incident in October 1994, a 19-year-old male farmer sustained fatal internal injuries after apparently stepping too close to the driveline of a forage wagon while unloading chopped corn.

Thu Nov 13 15:59:42 2003