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Foreman/skidder operator killed by falling tree - West Virginia, March 22, 1993.

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 93-13, 1993 May; :1-7
The case of a 51 year old male foreman/skidder operator who was killed after being struck by a falling tree was examined. The tree had been felled by another worker in the vicinity. At the time of the incident, the victim was working for a small logging company that had been operating for 10 years and had six employees. The victim had 12 years of logging experience. On the day of the accident, the timber cutter was felling a yellow poplar located about 50 feet away from the victim. An undercut had been first made in the tree and the backcut had just been completed. The undercut was made so that the tree should have fallen at a 90 degree angle way from the victim. However, when the backcut was made, approximately one third of the hinge was cut through, allowing the tree to twist on its stump and fall in the direction of the victim. The victim was stooped over using a chain saw and wore protective helmet with ear plugs. He did not hear the warning shouts. He died of a fractured skull. It is recommended that workers be assigned to separate work areas, that a written safety program be developed which includes worker training in proper tree felling techniques, and that employers designate a competent person to conduct safety inspections.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-93-13; Forestry-workers; Logging-workers; Accident-analysis; Traumatic-injuries; Equipment-operators
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division