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Tree trimmer/climber dies after falling 40 feet with an uprooted tree trunk - Virginia, July 23, 1996.
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 96-15, 1996 Sep; :1-7
A 26 year old male tree trimmer/climber who was working for a right of way utility line clearance company died after the tree in which he was working fell to the ground. The company had worked in this business for 80 years and employed 1,500 workers. The victim had climbed a tree with three vertical tree trunks. The trunks had been secured together in the past with steel cables. The workers had determined that two of the trunks, both red oaks, were dead, but that the third trunk, a black oak, was alive. As work progressed, the victim reached the point where it was time to cut one of the cables. He positioned himself in a fork of the black oak. About 10 to 15 seconds after cutting the cable, the tree in which he was positioned uprooted, crashing to the earth, pinning the worker between the tree and another tree limb on impact. He died due to massive crushing injuries to the head and neck. Recommendations included being aware of alternate methods of detecting and safely removing hazardous trees, using all available resources to enhance the safe performance of tasks, reviewing and expanding on existing safety information provided for tree trimmers and climbers, and conducting safety inspections.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-96-15; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Traumatic-injuries; Forestry-workers; Head-injuries; Neck-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