The good news is that no one died in farm accidents during the first two and two-thirds months of 2010. The bad news is that 23 people died before the year ended, and one out of 4 happened before the end of April.
The 2010 data report is the last full report Bill Field and his staff has compiled for farm fatalities and injuries. Five of the deaths happened in April, plus one in early March. Most to the fatalities occurred while doing typical spring work, from repairing a tractor to being crushed when a grain truck on a hoist fell and overturned, to being hit by limbs while cutting brush.
One of the five April deaths involved a tractor directly. Despite the publicity received by grain bin entrapment, which in itself is a deadly issue. Tractor-related accidents continue to be the leading cause of farm fatalities. In 2010, tractor overturns accounted for more than 20% of the farm deaths in Indiana all year. Tractor overturns remains the number one cause of farm deaths nationally. Even years of preaching about rollover protective structures, and companies providing them at cost or minimal mark-up, have not erased the fact that many older tractors without ROPS are still in use.
Fall was the most deadly time of the year in 2010 with 8 deaths, or more than one-third of the total recorded during the entire year. By season, winter is by far the time when the least number of deaths were recorded.
One of the deaths in 2010 occurred when an ammonia applicator hit a power line. As equipment gets larger and taller when folded, hitting power lines remains an imminent threat and one that farmers need to be aware of when they're moving from field to field, or even working within a field with power lines along the edge of the field.
Here's your advice. Be careful as you begin the spring season!