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Machine operator struck and killed by cutting head of feller buncher machine - North Carolina, January 11, 1995.
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 95-07, 1995 May; :1-7
A machine operator who was part of a 13 person crew performing logging operations in a rural area was struck and killed by the cutting head of a feller buncher. The machine operator was a 33 year old man with about 13 years of experience in the logging business. The logging company was clear cutting a 50 acre tract of land. The victim discovered that a tree limb had ruptured two hydraulic hoses on the right cylinder of the feller buncher he was operating. He decided to fix the equipment the following day. On the day of the incident, the victim picked up the equipment to make the repairs. For unknown reasons, the victim did not block the cutting head from movement, but positioned himself between the cutting head and the frame of the machine. He uncapped the hydraulic connection and when the pressure/fluid released, the cutting head suddenly dropped to its traveling position, about 2 inches from the frame of the machine. The cutting head struck the victim in the chest and pinned him against the machine's frame. Cause of death was listed as crushing injuries to the chest. It was recommended that machine maintenance and repair procedures are strictly followed, that a written safety program be developed, that a competent person be designated to conduct regular safety inspections, and that workplace safety should be avidly pursued by all concerned.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-95-07; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Equipment-operators; Logging-workers; Traumatic-injuries
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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