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A Tree Trimmer Dies from Asphyxia When Compressed by Palm Fronds

California Case Report: 12CA011

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


A tree trimmer died while trimming the fronds from a palm tree in front of an apartment building. The victim climbed up the tree and underneath the dead palm fronds. He cut the dead fronds with a chain saw and then starting pulling on the fronds that were stuck. The frond skirt fell on the victim pressing him against the tree trunk and suffocating him. The victim was not a certified tree worker, nor was he supervised by one.

A Tree Trimmer Dies from Asphyxia When Compressed by Palm Fronds [PDF 527 KB]

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