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Hispanic tree trimmer killed after being pulled into a wood chipper.

New Jersey Department of Health
NIOSH 2004 Aug; :1-9
On June 14, 2003, a 20-year-old male Hispanic tree trimmer was killed when he was pulled into a wood chipping machine. The incident occurred at the site of a large suburban home that was being renovated. The owner had contracted with the employer to remove two trees and remove a branch from a third tree. These trees were removed the day before the incident; the company was returning to remove the cut-down trees and branches. The employer was a small, family-owned tree-trimming service that employed relatives of the owner’s family. A crew of seven workers gathered at the site to carry the branches to a chipping machine. As the victim was feeding a load of branches into the chipper, he used his foot to push the branches into the hopper. A section of the tree top caught his shoe, and the machine pulled the tree and his leg into the machine. A co-worker quickly reversed and shut down the chipper, but it was too late to save the victim. NJ FACE investigators recommend following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. Employers and employees must be properly trained in the safe use of wood chippers and other machinery. 2. Owners of wood chippers should contact the manufacturer to see if equipment safety modifications and update kits are available. 3. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers. 4. Employers should ensure that workers in a multilingual workplace comprehend safety training and follow safety instructions required for their assigned tasks.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-operations; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Safety-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Forestry-workers; Forestry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-03NJ042; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health