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Tree faller killed when struck by decayed slab jarred loose by fallen tree - Alaska.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92-09, 1992 Jan; :1-5
A 45-year-old male tree faller (the victim) was cutting and felling trees on a mountainside with a 50 percent slope. The victim cut a hemlock snag (dead standing tree) that was 90 feet tall and 40 inches in diameter at the butt. About 24 feet directly uphill from the snag was a decayed hemlock log that was lying horizontally, parallel with the contour of the slope. The decayed log was lying on top of two smaller yellow cedar logs that were parallel to each other (about 14 feet apart), and perpendicular to the slope. When the victim cut the snag, it fell across one of the yellow cedar logs, which jarred the decayed hemlock log. A slab from the decayed log (measuring 23.5 feet long by 2 feet wide by 6 to 8 inches thick) broke loose and slid about 24 feet down the two yellow cedar logs, striking the victim on the side of the head and fatally injuring him. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1) ensure that fallers properly evaluate the area around timber to be felled so that potential hazards can be identified and avoided; 2) ensure that tree fallers prepare an adequate escape path before cutting and felling any tree; 3) designate a company safety manager to conduct regularly scheduled, and unscheduled, safety inspections; 4) ensure that worker safety has been addressed in the planning process of logging operations.
Logging-workers; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-helmets; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Training; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-programs; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Accident-analysis
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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