At approximately 2:00 PM on August 01, 1997, a 35 year old male logger (the victim) was fatally struck by the trunk of a tree he fell (cut) to dislodge a previously felled tree. On August 04, 1997, Alaska Department of Labor (AK-DOL) notified the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology. An investigation involving an Injury Prevention Specialist for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Section of Epidemiology ensued on August 04, 1997. The incident was reviewed with AK-DOL officials. Alaska State Troopers and Medical Examiner reports, as well as AK-DOL reports, were requested. The company in this incident was a privately owned logging operation that had been in business for 24 years. The company currently had 396 employees. The victim was an experienced cutter and had been employed by the company for five weeks. The company had a written employee's manual that included safety rules and practices for camp and work. In addition, employees received a copy of the Alaska Timber Insurance Exchange logging safety handbook. Safety meetings were held at least monthly. All employees were required attend an initial hire orientation and CPR and first aid training, if necessary. In addition, employees were assessed for individual skills and knowledge by the cutting supervisor or "bullbuck." Intermittent observations were made while working in their assigned area to provide recommendations and corrective actions including re-assignment, if necessary. This was the second fatality for the company. The first fatality was a heli-logging incident in 1996. 1. Employers should ensure that all cutters working on steep terrain fell trees according to safe methods in accordance with 29 CFR 1919.266. 2. Employers should consider excluding trees that should not be felled for harvesting due to extreme terrain conditions.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Logging-workers; Forestry; Forestry-workers; Lumberjacks; Lumber-industry-workers; Lumber-industry