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A Laborer Dies When He is Pulled into a Tree Stump Grinder, California

California Case Report: 18CA002
Release Date: March 25, 2019


A laborer working for a landscaping company died when he was pulled into a tree stump grinder. The victim was helping the landscaping company owner (stump grinder operator) guide the machine by pulling on a rope tied around his waist and attached to the stump grinder. The rope caught in the stump grinder’s grinding wheel and pulled the victim into its rotating motion. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent similar future incidents, landscaping companies should:

  • Ensure that workers who operate stump grinders are trained on and consistently follow safety policies and procedures.

In addition,

  • Homeowners who need tree stumps removed should only hire landscapers who are certified by organizations such as the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

A Laborer Dies When He is Pulled into a Tree Stump Grinder – California [PDF 361 KB]