When a farmer didn’t return for several hours after going out to feed his hogs, a family member went to look for him. The farmer’s remains were found in the hog enclosure. A law enforcement official calls the accident “doggone weird.”
A family member found Garner’s dentures and pieces of his body in the hog pen several hours later on Sept. 26. District Attorney Paul Frasier said most of his remains had been consumed.
Frasier speculates that Garner could have had a heart attack or might have been knocked over by one of the hogs, several of which weigh 700 pounds or more. But authorities are also looking into the possibility of foul play.
“It’s so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities,” Frasier told a local newspaper.
A pathologist was unable to determine a cause of death. Garner’s remains will be examined by a forensic anthropologist.
Are hogs rally aggressive enough to knock over a full-grown man? They’re usually not, according to an expert, but Garner’s brother says last year, one of the dead farmer’s sows bit him when he accidentally stepped on a piglet.
Garner’s brother says, [Terry] “was going to kill it, but when I asked him about it later, he said he had changed his mind.”
While it may not be possible to determine whether any steps could have been taken to save Garner’s life, here are some suggestions regarding the safety of lone workers:
- Avoid having a lone worker whenever possible, especially for jobs with a recognized risk.
- Report all situations, incidents or ‘near misses’ where being alone increased the severity of the situation. Analyze this information and make changes to company policy where necessary.
- Take action to prevent or minimize the potential risks of working alone.
- Establish a check-in procedure. Make sure that regular contact is kept with all employees. Establish ways to account for people (visually or verbally) while they are working.
- Schedule higher risk tasks to be done during normal business hours, or when another worker capable of helping in an emergency is present.