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Twenty-seven-year-old tree-care worker killed by falling branch.

Authors
New Jersey Department of Health
Source
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 12NJ019, 2013 Aug; :1-9
NIOSHTIC No.
20044957
Abstract
A 27-year-old male ground crewman at a tree care company was struck and killed by a 38-pound cut branch. On the day of the incident, the decedent and two other workers were felling an approximately 80-foot tall ash tree on a farm in northern New Jersey. One worker was cutting branches from about 60 feet up in the tree and the other two workers were on the ground using chainsaws and a wood chipper to process felled branches. The worker in the tree signaled to the two below that a branch was about to be cut (free-fall cut, not a controlled descent). Both ground crew members were standing near the chipper and had acknowledged the signal. For an unknown reason, one of the ground crew members began walking towards the drop zone and was struck and killed by the falling branch. Contributing Factors: 1. Delineation of drop zone; 2. Noise from the wood chipper 3. Communication. NJ FACE investigators recommend that these safety guidelines be followed to prevent similar incidents: 1. A clear delineation of the drop zone (also known as exclusion zone or drip zone) should be created using spray paint or tape. 2. Ensure that proper communication exists in or around the drop zone. 3. Whenever possible, pile all branches to be pruned or chipped in the same location, out of the drop zone. 4. A safety and health plan based on a job hazard analysis should be developed by the employer and followed where workers are assigned tasks.
Keywords
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices; Groundskeeping-workers; Wood; Signaling-systems; Warning-signals; Safety-measures; Noise; Noise-sources; Communication-systems; Environmental-control
Publication Date
20130821
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2013
NTIS Accession No.
PB2014-109120
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
FACE-12NJ019; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345; B20130124
SIC Code
NAICS-56
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
NJ
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
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