Business Owner Killed When Pulled Into Wood Chipper, Michigan
Michigan Case Report: 12MI069
Report Date: 10/26/2013
In summer 2012, a male landscaping and tree trimming company manager/co-owner in his 40s died when he was pulled into a wood chipper. The incident occurred just before dark. The decedent had been drinking. A concerned neighbor was walking over to the decedent when he witnessed the decedent being pulled into the chipper. The decedent’s coworker ran to the chipper and turned it off when she heard the chipper make an unusual noise and the neighbor yelling. The neighbor called for emergency response and the decedent was declared dead at the scene.
- Alcohol Intoxication
- No intervention from coworkers to prevent the individual under the influence of alcohol to operate machinery
- Improper work procedure used while feeding brush onto a wood chipper feed table.
In order to prevent future incidents with wood chippers, tree trimming companies should ensure that:
- Wood chipper operators are not impaired from the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Develop and enforce policies and procedures that allow coworkers to intervene and prevent others from operating wood chippers when impaired from the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Develop and enforce policies and procedures for wood chipper operators that detail safe work practices, including wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment when feeding material into the chipper.