Forestry worker in vehicle killed from timber falling activity - Oregon
Oregon Case Report: 14OR042
Release Date: January 2017
On November 4, 2014 a 55-yearold log quality specialist employed by a timber leasing organization was killed when her vehicle was struck by a tree that was cut by a faller.1 This occurred within an active logging area that included cable yarding at the southeast end of the unit, and active timber falling at the northwest end of the unit. The faller was working at the northwest end and uphill from the road (see illustration at right). A single cable flagger associated with the cable yarding at the southeast end allowed the log quality specialist to drive under the cable and proceed northwest. Shortly after she passed under the cable she was met by the owner of the logging company who was driving from the northwest end toward the southeast end of the unit. During this stop, the log quality specialist and logging company owner had a brief conversation. The owner was the only witness to the conversation, and his report of what he said was limited and ambiguous. The logging company owner then left to perform some work at the east end of the site. A witness indicated the log quality specialist waited at the location of this encounter for at least 20 minutes before proceeding to the northwest, driving toward the timber falling activity. There were no warning signs or flaggers present in advance of the active falling area. The faller working at the northwest end cut a tree that fell downslope and into the road, 135 degrees from its intended lay. He went down to clear the tree from the road and discovered a vehicle had been struck by the tree and come to rest further down the road. He discovered the log quality specialist severely injured in her vehicle and called 911. First responders arrived within about 30 minutes but pronounced the log quality specialist dead at the scene.