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Agricultural Runovers in Canada: Fallen Operator Runovers

Updated July 2008

Fallen operator runovers occur when an operator falls or is bounced or knocked from a moving farm machine, usually a tractor. The operator is then runover by the machine or by an implement or wagon being pulled by it.

Between 1990 and 2004, 59 people were killed in fallen operator runovers. From April 1990 to March 2000 there were 156 hospitalizations for fallen operator runover injuries. Fallen operator runovers represented 18.8% of all runover fatalities and 19.9% of all hospitalized runover injuries.

59.3% of the victims of fatal fallen operator runovers were older than 59. The majority were aged 70 or over. 96.6% of those killed in fallen operator runovers were male. According to CAIR’s fatality circumstance descriptions, 37.3% of fatal fallen operator runovers were associated with adverse environmental conditions like bumpy terrain, orchards and woodlots, slopes or ice.

When operating a tractor or other agricultural machine, careful consideration should be given to wearing a seatbelt whenever possible. Without a seatbelt, it is easy to fall from an open machine traveling over rough terrain, on slopes or around corners. Seatbelts are especially important for the safety of operators aged 70 and over, since falls from tractors and other agricultural machines are a far more common cause of agricultural injuries in this age group than in younger operators.

Catherine Isaacs, National Coordinator and Data Manager of The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting notes that, “Wearing seatbelts while operating tractors or other agricultural machines would reduce the incidence of both fallen operator runovers and falls from moving machines, which are very frequent among senior farmers.”

This information is derived from data collected and analyzed by Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program collaborators and staff. CAIR is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and managed in cooperation with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.

For more information contact:
Dr. Rob Brison (via Deb Emerton),
The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting,
Department of Emergency Medicine, Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7
Tel: (613) 548-2389 Fax (613) 548-1381
Email: CAIR@kgh.kari.net www.CAIR.ca