FATALITY ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL EVALUATION (FACE) PROGRAM
A Tree Trimmer is Electrocuted When a Tree Branch Falls onto Energized Electric Power Lines
California Case Report: 11CA003
A tree trimmer was electrocuted while trimming tree branches in a residential front yard. The victim was hired by a homeowner to trim the branches of a tree growing into utility lines in his front yard. The victim was wearing a full-body harness for fall protection, and had a climbing rope, flip line, drop line, and climbing spurs on his feet. He used a chain saw to cut away the branches of the tree. A branch that was cut did not fully detach from the tree and struck the energized electric power lines. The electric current flowed through the cut branch and into the victim who was attached to the tree with his climbing spurs. Contributing factors identified in this investigation were improper work practices in line-clearance tree trimming, and working in close proximity to energized utility lines.