On July 20, 2012, an employee was connecting a mower deck to a John Deere tractor's three-point hitch. The two lower hitch points were connected, and he was trying to connect the top connection. The tractor operator thought the mower was attached and activated the lifting mechanism of the deck. The top rod that was not connected firmly came out and struck the employee who was doing the hookup. The rod pinned him between the tractor and mower deck. He sustained bruises, contusions, and abrasions to his right leg.
Using Human Performance Tools would have helped this employee request a peer check before putting himself in harm’s way and using Effective Communication would have eliminated the break in communication.
What Can We Learn?
Effective Communication would have eliminated this incident. The tractor operator and the employee attaching the equipment did not use Effective Communication which was the direct cause of the employee sustaining injuries.
Overconfidence played a factor in this incident. This employee has performed this task numerous times without missing a secure connection on the lifting mechanism.
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