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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Central California Foothills
    Kubota 3410

    Default Death / back hoe and canopy

    I don't really quite understand the dynamics of how this happened exactly, but I ran across it while searching for canopies, and thought I would share it - will try to attach it.

    Industry: Agriculture Age: 63 years Area: Central Interior

    Worker crushed to death between tractor canopy and backhoe A ranch worker was digging a trench using a backhoe attached to the rear of a tractor. The tractor was equipped with a canopy and rollover protective structure (ROPS). While the worker was positioning the backhoe/tractor equipment in a forward-moving direction, he was thrown from his seat and onto the operating control panel for the backhoe. The pressure of his body started the boom section hydraulic cylinder. As the cylinder stretched out, the boom section put pressure against the upright dipper stick section and bucket that was pressing against the ground. The backhoe lifted upward and buckled where it was attached to the rear of the tractor, pinning the worker between the backhoe control panel and the rear edge of the tractor’s overhead canopy.

    An investigation discovered the cause of the accident to be a missing bolt that was required to secure the backhoe top link plate to the main backhoe frame. The missing bolt would have prevented the upward movement of the backhoe where it connected to the rear of the tractor.

    Safe work practices:
    Regularly inspect and perform maintenance on machinery and equipment to ensure that all the necessary parts are in place and secure.
    Operate machinery and equipment in compliance with the manufacturer’s operating manual.

    Read and follow safe work procedures.


    The WCB has a wide range of health and safety information. For assistance and information on workplace health and safety, call toll-free within BC 1-888-621-SAFE (7233) or visit our web site at

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Death / back hoe and canopy

    On Carver's website [the tractor dealer] there is a write up of a similar accident. It is worth reading.

    The situation may be the same. A 3PH backhoe, if something fails, can lift up off the back of the tractor and the seat /frame of the backhoe could pin the operator between it and the rops/canopy.

    My 3PH backhoe has a safety bar that extend below the lower lift arms, so if the top link bracket failed for example, the backhoes upward movement would be limited.

    It is VERY important to make sure your 3ph backhoe has the safety device installed. You don't want to be on that seat if the to link bracket should fail when the hydraulics are moving in a way that exerts an upward force on the top link. If the top link bracket would fail, or the pin holding the backhoe to it should shear, the frame, seat and operator would all lift upwards.

    And since the rops is above the operator...well...squish is the result in the worst case.

    Anyone with a 3ph backhoe should be sure to understand the mechanics of this failure mode and what safety device is there to protect them.

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