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NIOSH Hazard ID, HID 8 - injury associated with working near or operating wood chippers.

Moore PH; Casini VJ; Shepherd S; Carson C
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, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-145, (HID 8), 1999 Aug; :1-3
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), 11 workers lost their lives during 1992 through 1997 while working near mobile wood chippers. In seven of the incidents, the victim was caught by the feed mechanism and pulled through the chipper knives. The victims in four of the incidents were struck by hoods (guards that cover the rotating chipper knives) that separated from the machines after being improperly opened or closed while knives were still rotating. During 1998, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received two additional reports of worker deaths from operating wood chippers. These incidents illustrate the two most common causes of fatal injury: being fed through the chipper knives or being struck by the chipper disc hood. The incidents were investigated as part of the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. Self-feeding mobile wood chippers commonly used during tree trimming operations consist of a feed mechanism, knives mounted on a rotating chipper disc or drum, and a power plant. Tree branches and trunk sections fed manually into the machine's infeed hopper are grabbed by the feed mechanism or chipper knives. The chipper disc or drum rotating between 1,000 and 2,000 rpm cuts and propels wood chips through the discharge spout usually into a chip truck. The housing containing the chipper disc or drum is sectioned and includes a removable hood that allows access to machine components for maintenance.
Woodworkers; Woodworking-equipment; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Machine-guarding; Machine-operators; Machine-operation; Mortality-data; Materials-handling; Tree-trimming; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Hazard ID
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-145; HID-8
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: July 8, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division