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Operator Falls from Boom Lift while Tree Trimming – Washington

Washington Case Report:21WA5248
Release Date: May 31, 2021

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On April 2, 2020, a 55-year-old operator died after he fell from the basket of a boom lift while trying to pull cut tree branches into the basket.

On the day of the incident, the operator was working as part of a three-person crew to remove trees at a residence. It was their first day on the site. Their plan was for the operator and a coworker to first work in the elevated boom lift to limb trees with chainsaws.

They decided to bring the cut branches into the basket to prevent them from damaging a garage and shed. They had been working for about an hour. To get the branches into the basket, the operator opened the side access gate of the basket. As he leaned forward through the gate, he fell from the basket to the roof of the shed 12 feet below.

Operator Falls from Boom Lift while Tree Trimming – Washington [PDF 3,345 KB]