Farm Equipment Accident Investigations

National Farm Safety Week is September 19-25 and promotes resources to improve safety and health ahead of the busy harvest season. Farm equipment can be involved in dangerous accidents when used by inexperienced operators or when the equipment is not properly maintained. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 573 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.1 deaths per 100,000 workers. Many of these accidents involve heavy machinery.

Agricultural or farm equipment can range from small, relatively inexpensive all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) used to inspect fences or livestock, to very expensive mobile pieces of industrial equipment such as cotton pickers, grain harvesting combines, or four-wheel-drive tractors. Like other industrial machinery, farm equipment can suffer from mechanical and electrical failures and fires, as well as incidents involving careless or untrained operators.

Since farm equipment is mobile, it can also be involved in motor vehicle accidents. A tractor or an ATV operating on uneven terrain can roll over if the operator does not take the proper care with direction or speed. Farm equipment in transit between fields on country roads can be involved in collisions from other, faster-moving vehicles that fail to recognize the equipment’s width with respect to the travel lane or the equipment’s significantly slower speed.

A careful investigation by an experienced engineer can result in an accurate determination of the cause of the accident. A review of equipment service records can show if any component had recently been serviced or replaced. An examination of the equipment itself and the area where the incident occurred can inform the investigation.

CED has a team of experienced mechanical engineers to investigate your next accident involving agricultural machinery. Trained and experienced engineers can assist you in the investigation of farm equipment accidents and provide the understanding of what occurred. Contact us to review your next case or submit a case request online.