Oregon OSHA Health and Safety

RESOURCE

February 2016

Safety Notes

Accident Report

  • Incident | Tractor rollover
  • Business | Crop farming
  • Employee | Farm laborer

A tractor operator who was not wearing a seatbelt was severely injured when his ROPS-equipped tractor rolled over.

The victim was driving an agricultural tractor equipped with ROPS (rollover protection structure) northbound in high gear on a paved two-lane road after he had moved and set irrigation equipment in a nearby field.

While he was driving, the tractor drifted onto the gravel shoulder on the east side of the road. He steered the tractor to the left to bring it back on the road but overcorrected and then turned the tractor abruptly to the right. Because he was not wearing a seatbelt, he was thrown from the driver's seat when the tractor began to roll over. As he landed on the road, his pants caught in the right rear tire between the tire bead and the rim, which pulled them down to his ankles as the tractor went into the ditch.

He managed to find his cell phone and called 911 while he was hanging upside down from the wheel. A passing motorist stopped and used his phone to complete the 911 call to the dispatcher.

Emergency responders took him to the hospital with a fractured pelvis and deep lacerations on his right leg, knee, and arm.

Depiction of worker putting hand inside machine
Illustration: Patricia Young

Findings

  • Employees were not required to use seatbelts when they were driving ROPS-equipped tractors.
  • Tractor operators had not been trained before their initial assignment and annually thereafter.

Violations

  • 437-004-3600(3)(a)(B) [Seatbelts], When ROPS were required, the employer did not ensure that workers used a seatbelt while the tractor was moving.
  • 437-004-3430(1) [Training for Agriculture Tractor Operators], Training for employees operating tractors was not conducted at first assignment of driving duties and annually thereafter.

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