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Chain from tractor to tree. Figure 1. This is how the chain was attached from the tractor to the tree. (Photo: C. Roberts)

According to the United States Department of Labor, 44% of farm accidents are due to tractor rollovers. The National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative reports that tractors cause about 130 deaths annually — or half of all farmworker fatalities. This case study deals with a common type of tractor upset where the tractor ends up upside down. Figure 1 shows the tractor at the accident scene. The tractor was being operated for pulling down a tree with a chain attached to the tractor body and the base of a tree. While performing this task, the tractor turned over, ejected the driver and caught fire, resulting in a fatality.

Tractor upside down. (Photos: C. Roberts)

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