CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A former farmer who was injured in a hay baling accident more than 35 years ago is using his experience to help others.

Robert “Chip” Petrea is a research specialist at the University of Illinois. He focuses on agriculture safety and health.

The News-Gazette reports that he studies why farm injuries happen and helps injured farmers adapt. He said many farmers want to continue farming right away after an injury.

Petrea lost both of his legs above the knee while baling hay in south-central Illinois in 1978. Part of his job includes evaluating the national Teaching Ag Safety to Kids program. He earned both his master’s and doctorate degrees from Illinois.

Petrea said he thinks increasing regulation on smaller farms would help eliminate unsafe farming practices.

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